Black Milwaukee, proletarianization, and the making of black working-class history

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A pioneering effort to understand working-class African Americans as historical agents, Black Milwaukee situated the Great Migration within an ongoing debate over workers' ability to shape the transition from agricultural to industrial society. By joining that debate, Trotter inherited an attention to class consciousness and the significance of work that distinguished the "new labor history" of the 1960s and 1970s, but he also adopted a teleological understanding of modernization that elided historical and geographical complexities of working-class experience. By developing a more flexible understanding of "proletarianization," the author argues, contemporary scholars can benefit from Trotters' theoretical framework without replicating its conceptual blind spots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)544-550
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Urban History
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • African Americans
  • Deindustrialization
  • Labor
  • Migration
  • Poverty


Dive into the research topics of 'Black Milwaukee, proletarianization, and the making of black working-class history'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this