Aaronson, Abner, Borgschulte, and Mazumder on The Early Origins of the Civil Rights Movement in the US: An Analysis of the Growth of the NAACP @ChicagoFed @UofIllinois
Daniel Aaronson, Jala Abner, Bhashkar Mazumder, all of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Mark Borgschulte, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, are publishing The Early Origins of the Civil Rights Movement in the US: An Analysis of the Growth of the NAACP in the Oxford Research Encyclopeida of Economics and Finance (forthcoming). Here is the abstract.
We document the growth of the NAACP’s local branches from just after its inception to the middle of the 20th century using digitized records from the organization’s archives. We identify some key correlates of county-level activity, concentrating specifically on the explosive growth in Southern branches between 1938 and 1946. We link those correlates to potential explanations from the history and social science literatures, including human capital and other demographic forces, the rising demand for labor associated with war time production, a reduction in threats of racial violence, pre-existing demand for political activity, and social interactions and networks. Our review points to several potentially important pathways for future researchers to explore how the expansion in grassroots political activism may have related to significant progress in reducing racial gaps in labor market outcomes mid-century.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.