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Black Firefighters and the FDNYThe Struggle for Jobs, Justice, and Equity in New York City$
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David Goldberg

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469633626

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469633626.001.0001

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A Black Face in a High Place, Fire Commissioner Robert O. Lowery

A Black Face in a High Place, Fire Commissioner Robert O. Lowery

Reform, Retrenchment, and the Limitations of Racial Liberalism

Chapter:
(p.158) Five A Black Face in a High Place, Fire Commissioner Robert O. Lowery
Source:
Black Firefighters and the FDNY
Author(s):

David Goldberg

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469633626.003.0006

This chapter focuses on John Lindsay’s appointment of Robert O. Lowery to serve as the FDNY’s Fire Commissioner during the onset of one of the most tumultuous periods in the department’s history, “the War Years.” Within the department itself, the first half of “the War years were characterized by a highly racialized, contentious, internal struggle for institutional control that escalated throughout John Lindsay’s and Robert Lowery’s two terms in office. Efforts to reform departmental race relations, increase minority access and representation, and maintain fire protection levels were complicated by budget problems, escalating racial, political, and cultural conflicts; rising workloads; labor militancy; and white backlash.

Keywords:   Robert O. Lowery, Uniformed Fireman’s Association (UFA), Vulcan Society, White Identity politics, Racial liberalism, Institutional racism, John Lindsay, “The War Years”, Neoliberalism and public employment, Attacks on firefighters

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