In part six of our series on the Wobblies, John Newsinger tells how, at a time when lynchings were common, the IWW fought for unity between black and white workers.
One of the great weaknesses of the US labour movement was the way that many white workers fell for the race card and played into the hands of their employers, both North and South.
The concern of many white workers was to keep black workers off the job rather than to build a united movement to fight the bosses and their political representatives.
They stood by while black workers were oppressed, denied the vote, discriminated against and brutalised on a daily basis. The public torture and lynching of black men and women was almost an everyday affair.