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Men of MobtownPolicing Baltimore in the Age of Slavery and Emancipation$
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Adam Malka

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469636290

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469636290.001.0001

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Securing the Workplace

Securing the Workplace

(p.89) Chapter Three Securing the Workplace
Men of Mobtown

Adam Malka

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter, along with the next two, interrogates the ways that police reform amplified ordinary white men’s power to police free black Baltimoreans. One site of such racial policing was the workplace. By the late 1850s, Chapter 3 shows, white workingmen were commonly engaging in job busting – i.e. chasing skilled black workingmen from the docks and rail yards with the police’s complicity. This was because the law did not treat all workers equally, even in an industrializing city where employers held much of the leverage and the vast majority of the people of color were free. Black workers were prolific in Baltimore, and the wages black Baltimoreans earned were meaningful evidence of their freedom, but the legal and institutional discrimination they confronted put them at a severe disadvantage when facing white violence in the workplace. More times than not, professional policemen confirmed the disparity.

Keywords:   White men, Workingmen, Job busting, Wages, Black workers, Legal discrimination, White violence, Policemen, Policing, Freedom

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