Created Equal Podcast 01. The Kiss


Labor unions empowered African Americans to help overcome elements of racism and move more into the middle class during the mid-20th century.  Yet even the unions could not defeat the power of individual racism.

On the pilot episode of WDET’s new podcast, Created Equal, hosts Stephen Henderson and Laura Weber-Davis explore the strength of unions, and the fragility of opportunity in America. 

Johns Hopkins University associate professor Lester Spence discusses what makes unions so vital, historically, to the modern workforce. And Northwestern University professor Kevin Boyle tells the story of James Major, a black man from the south who moved north for work, and an opportunity for a middle-class life. Major’s close friendship with his line partner, a white woman, at the Dodge Main auto plant in Hamtramck, unraveled his ability to find good, union-protected work in the 1950s.

Subscribe to Created Equal now on iTunes.


Image credit: Thomas Hawk, Flickr

Aired on: Created Equal

This post is a part of Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

The DJC is a partnership of six media outlets focused on telling critical stories of Detroit and creating engagement opportunities on-air, online and in the community. View the partners work at

Support for this project comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Renaissance Journalism’s Michigan Reporting Initiative and the Ford Foundation.



About the Author

Laura Weber-Davis

Producer, Detroit Today & Created Equal

Laura is thrilled to be working at Detroit’s legendary public radio station, WDET. Whatever she is doing at this very moment, she’d rather be listening to RadioLab.   Follow @laurawdet

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