Herbert Hill Papers

Dates: 1963-2002
Size: 1.5 linear feet
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, 9525 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, Illinois 60628



Provenance: Donated by Herbert Hill starting in 1996 with subsequent donations
Access: No restrictions

When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is:

Herbert Hill Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature

Processed by: Beverly A. Cook, April 2021

Biographical Note

Herbert Hill (1924-2004) was born in Brooklyn, New York and attended public schools. He earned his B.A. from New York University in 1945 and did further study at the New School for Social Research. He then worked as an organizer for the United Steelworkers before joining the staff of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He rose through the ranks to become the National Labor Director. In this role, he created the template of cases for the NAACP Legal Defense to test its legal strategies. Hill was an alleged FBI informant in the 1950s. He was a strong proponent of affirmative action while fighting against nepotism in the unions and unfair labor practices in the workforce. Hill organized protest demonstrations in Chicago in 1969 at building sites in Chicago demanding jobs for black workers who had been excluded from construction unions. The main slogan was “Open Them Up or Shut Them Down.” He left the NAACP in 1977 to accept a professorship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He retired in 1997.


Scope and Content

Michael Flug, senior archival specialist at the Harsh Research Collection, enjoyed a long friendship and professional relationship with Herbert Hill who sent him copies of his articles and research over the years. The breadth of his articles sheds light on labor history and practices in the United States as well as the evolving nature of unions.


There are 3 series in this collection. They are Manuscripts, Correspondence and NAACP Organization.

Series 1: Manuscripts, 1951-2002

This series is arranged in alphabetical order by title of article.

Series 2: Correspondence, 1989, 1994-1999

This correspondence sheds light on Hill’s criticism of fellow labor historian, Nelson Lichtenstein. This series is in alphabetical order.

Series 3: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Organization, 1950-1974

This series has reports from the Labor Department of the NAACP and it is in chronological order.

Related Materials

Related materials at the Chicago Public Library include:

Related materials at other institutions include:

Container List

Series 1:Manuscripts, 1951-2002

Box 1 Folder 1 “Affirmative Action and the Quest for Job Equality,” Review of Black Political Economy, 1976 Spring
Box 1 Folder 2 “AFL-CIO and the Black Worker: Twenty-five Years after the Merger,” Journal of Intergroup Relations, 1982 Spring
Box 1 Folder 3 “Anti-Oriental Agitation and the Rise of Working-Class Racism,” Society, 1973 February
Box 1 Folder 4 “Black Labor, the NLRB, and the Developing Law of Equal Employment Opportunities,” Labor Law Journal, 1975
Box 1 Folder 5 “Black-Jewish Conflict in the Labor Context: Race, Jobs and Institutional Power,” 1993
Box 1 Folder 6 “Black Protest and the Struggle for Union Democracy,” Issues in Industrial Society, 1969
Box 1 Folder 7 “A Blow to Minorities: The Supreme Court and seniority systems,” Commonweal, 1977
Box 1 Folder 8 “Chinese and Immigrant Workers and the Contemporary Labor Movement from Exclusion to Race and Gender Discrimination,” New Politics, 1999
Box 1 Folder 9 “Communist Party-Enemy of Negro Equality,” Crisis, 1951 June
Box 1 Folder 10 “Communist Party-Enemy of Negro Equality,” Crisis, 1951 June
Box 1 Folder 11 “Crippled Giant: Organized Labor in Decline,” CriticalPerspectives of Third World America, 1983
Box 1 Folder 12 “Demographic Change and Racial Ghettos: The Crisis of American Cities,” Journal of Urban Law, 1966
Box 1 Folder 13 “Employment, Manpower Training and the Black Worker,” Journal of Negro Education, 1969
Box 1 Folder 14 “Equal Employment Opportunity Acts of 1964 and 1972: A Critical Analysis of the Legislative History and Administration of the Law,” Industrial Relations Law Journal, 1977
Box 1 Folder 15 “Evading the Law: Apprenticeship Outreach and Hometown Plans in the Construction Industry,” Civil Rights Digest, 1974
Box 1 Folder 16 “Has Organized Labor Failed the Negro Worker,” Negro Digest, 1962 May
Box 1 Folder 17 “ILGWU-Fact and Fiction,” New Politics, 1963 Winter
Box 1 Folder 18 “ILGWU Today-Decay of a Labor Union,” New Politics, 1962
Box 1 Folder 19 “Intellectual and Institutional Development of Black Studies in the United States,” 1994
Box 1 Folder 20 “Is the Past Prologue? The Law and Employment Discrimination,” Crisis, 1975
Box 1 Folder 21 “The Journey to Johannesburg,” Paper delivered at the Fifth National Conference on Civil and Human Rights of the National Education Association of the United State, 1968 February 14
Box 1 Folder 22 “Labor and Segregation,” New Leader, 1959
Box 1 Folder 23 “Labor Union Control of Job Training: A Critical Analysis of Apprenticeship Outreach Programs and The Hometown Plans”, 1974
Box 1 Folder 24 “Labor Unions and the Negro,” Commentary, 1959
Box 1 Folder 25 Letter to the Editor in Issues in Industrial Society, 1970
Box 1 Folder 26 “Lichtenstein’s Fictions: Meany, Reuther and the 1964 Civil Rights Act,” New Politics, 1998
Box 1 Folder 27 “Lichtenstein’s Fiction Revisited: Race and the New Labor History, New Politics, 1999
Box 1 Folder 28 “Lost Constituency,” Progressive, 1983
Box 1 Folder 29 “Myth-making as Labor History: Herbert Gutman and the United Mine Workers of America,” International Journal of politics, Culture and Society, 1988
Box 1 Folder 30 “National Labor Relations Acts and the Emergence of Civil Rights Law: A New Priority in Federal Labor Policy,” Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review, 1976
Box 1 Folder 31 “The Negro Writer and the Creative Imagination,” ArtsinSociety, 1968
Box 1 Folder 32 “New Judicial Perception of Employment Discrimination: Litigation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” University of Colorado Law Review, 1972
Box 1 Folder 33 “New York City Terminal Market controversy: A Case Study on Race, Labor and Power,” Humanities in Society, 1983
Box 1 Folder 34 “No End of Pledges: Continuing Discrimination in the Construction Unions,” Commonweal, 1968
Box 1 Folder 35 No Harvest for the Reaper: The Story of the Migratory Agricultural Worker in the United States, circa 1960
Box 1 Folder 36 “Patterns of Employment Discrimination,” Crisis, 1962 March
Box 1 Folder 37 “Planning the end of the American Ghetto: A Program of Economic Development for Equal Rights,” Phra, 1967
Box 1 Folder 38 “Preferential Hiring: Correcting the Demerit System,” Social Policy, 1973
Box 2 Folder 1 “Problem of Race in American Labor History,” Reviews in American History, 1996
Box 2 Folder 2 “Race, Affirmative Action and the Constitution,” lecture given at the City College of New York, 1988
Box 2 Folder 3 “Race and Ethnicity in Organized Labor,” Journal of Intergroup Relations, 1984, Winter
Box 2 Folder 4 Race and Ethnicity in Organized Labor: the Historical Sources of Resistance to Affirmative Actions,” Journal of Intergroup Relations, 1984, Winter
Box 2 Folder 5 “Race and the Steelworkers Union,” New Politics, 2002
Box 2 Folder 6 “Racial Practices of Organized Labor-in the age of Gompers and After,” New Politics, 1965
Box 2 Folder 7 “Racism and Organized Labor,” New School for Social Research, 1971
Box 2 Folder 8 “Record of Negro Disfranchisement,” Midstream, 1957
Box 2 Folder 9 “Role of Law in Securing Equal Employment Opportunity: Legal Powers and Social Change,” Boston College Industrial and Commercial Law Review, 1966 Spring
Box 2 Folder 10 “Sewing Machines and Union Machines.” Nation, 1967 July 3
Box 2 Folder 11 “South in Conflict,” New Leader, 1956 April 2
Box 2 Folder 12 “Twenty Years of State Fair Employment Practice Commissions: A Critical Analysis with Recommendations,” Buffalo Law Review, 1964 Fall
Box 2 Folder 13 “Untold Story: the truth about racial discrimination in the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union,” Crisis, 1962, November
Box 2 Folder 14 “Violence Checks Southern Industry Boom,” New Leader, 1958 April 14

Series 2: Correspondence, 1989, 1994-1999

Box 2 Folder 15 Correspondence, Michael Flug, 1999 [Chinese Immigrant Workers manuscript]
Box 2 Folder 16 Correspondence, Lichtenstein, Nelson, 1989, 1994

Series 3: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Organization, 1950-1974

Box 2 Folder 17 “Negro Wage-Earner and Apprenticeship Training Programs,” NAACP Labor Department, 1960
Box 2 Folder 18 “Racism within Organized Labor: A Report of Five Years of the AFL-CIO,” NAACP Labor Department, 1961
Box 2 Folder 19 NAACP brochures and flyers, 1950, 1974
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