News and Events

Here you will find information on events (lectures, exhibits, conferences, movie showings, and the like), that focus on the history of workers and their movements in New York State.

If you have any items you would like us to list here, contact Irwin Yellowitz,

Before Harlem: The Black Experience in New York City Before World War I, by Marcy Sacks, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.

The book examines the first period of sustained migration and immigration of black people into New York City. Racial prejudices and stereotypes caused black newcomers to experience hardships unlike the struggles of immigrant and other groups. Elite white reformers and police officers exacerbated the problems of poverty by provoking the break-up of families and turning a blind eye to the vice and crime that thrived in neighborhoods with high concentrations of black residents. Nevertheless, black people forged bonds of friendship and community within Manhattan’s unwelcoming environment. The mixing of ethnically diverse people of African descent from the American South and the Caribbean fostered the emergence in the 1920s of Harlem as the cultural capital of black America.

Sisters in the Brotherhoods: Working Women Organizing for Equality in New York City by Jane LaTour, Palgrave McMillan, 2008. A paperback edition appeared in 2009.

By NYLHA board member Jane LaTour, Sisters in the Brotherhoods: Working Women Organizing for Equality in New York City is an oral-history-based study of women who have, against considerable odds, broken the gender barrier to blue-collar employment in various trades in New York City beginning in the 1970s. From construction workers, to stationary engineers, firefighters, electronic technicians, plumbers, and transit workers, each story contributes to an important unifying theme: the way women confronted an inherently sexist union culture and developed new organizational forms to support their struggles. The book, published by Palgrave Macmillan in August 2009 in paperback, is available for $25.95.

See the new exhibit on the book at

Richard Greenwald, a member of the Executive Board of the New York Labor History Association, and Dan Katz, who served on the Board for many years, have edited a volume entitled Labor Rising: The Past and Future of American Workers (2012). The New York Labor History Association plans a book event for this volume, to be held in the Spring of 2013. Greenwald and Katz have enlisted a wide array of historians, social critics and activists to explore how an understanding of the history of labor in the United States helps explain the contemporary economic and political conditions faced by American workers. Greenwald and Katz also have contributed their own essays to the volume.