Reed Fink Award in Southern Labor History Talk 5/25

Lisa Vallen's picture

Please join us at our GSU Special Collection & Archives Reed Fink Award Talk “Household Technicians or Maids of Honor? The National Domestic Workers Union and Black Women’s Political Power in the 1970s Atlanta” on 5/25 at 1:00 pm via

 This talk will use the National Domestic Workers Union’s (NDWU) “Maid’s Day” to explore how the NDWU changed the racialized and gendered labor relationships between predominately white women employers and Black domestic workers in Atlanta. On the one hand, the employer nominations reveal the endurance of the racist stereotypes that have plagued Black women doing domestic labor since chattel slavery. On the other hand, the 1970s saw both the marketplace for care provision and the place of women in the workforce change drastically. The nominations index both employers’ anxieties about these developments and the new opportunities for political leverage they opened up for workers. Ultimately, Maid’s Day reveals how the NDWU took both these enduring challenges and new opportunities and fashioned them into a potent base for black women’s political power in Atlanta. 

 Eshe Sherley is a PhD candidate in History and a certificate student in Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Michigan. Her dissertation project explores how Black women organized around waged and unwaged care work in late twentieth century Atlanta. She holds a M.A. in History from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in African American Studies from Yale University.

  Lisa Vallen (she/her/hers)

Southern Labor Archivist

(404) 413-2886

GSU Special Collections


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