Book cover of Black Folk: The Roots of the Black Working Class by Blair LM Kelleyby Blair LM Kelley

An award-winning historian illuminates the adversities and joys of the Black working class in America through a stunning narrative centered on her forebears.

There have been countless books, articles, and televised reports in recent years about the almost mythic “white working class,” a tide of commentary that has obscured the labor, and even the very existence, of entire groups of working people, including everyday Black workers. In this brilliant corrective, Black Folk, acclaimed historian Blair LM Kelley restores the Black working class to the center of the American story.

Spanning two hundred years―from one of Kelley’s earliest known ancestors, an enslaved blacksmith, to the essential workers of the Covid-19 pandemic―Black Folk highlights the lives of the laundresses, Pullman porters, domestic maids, and postal workers who established the Black working class as a force in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Interview with the Author

Podcast Art for the New Book NetworkNew Books Network 
Blair Kelley, “Black Folk: The Roots of the Black Working Class” (LIveright, 2023)
7/31/23           45 min

Podcast art for Converging DialoguesConverging Dialogues 
#242 – Roots of The Black Working Class: A Dialogue with Blair LM Kelley
7/10/23           82 min

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Blair LM Kelley | Black Folk: The Roots of the Black Working Class
6/28/23            57 min

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