Lockheed, Atlanta, and the Struggle for Racial Integration
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Lockheed, Atlanta, and the Struggle for Racial Integration

Title Details

Pages: 244

Illustrations: 10 b&w images

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 11/15/2021

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6172-7

List Price: $30.95


Pub Date: 11/15/2019

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5514-6

List Price: $62.95

Lockheed, Atlanta, and the Struggle for Racial Integration

A look inside the corporate management of racial equity in a major American firm

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  • Description
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Lockheed has been one of American’s largest corporations and most important defense contractors from World War II to the present day (since 1995 as part of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company). During the postwar era, its executives enacted complicated business responses to black demands for equality. Based on the papers of a personnel executive, the memoir of an African American employee, interviews, and company publications, this narrative history offers a unique inside perspective on the evolution of equal employment and affirmative action policies at Lockheed Aircraft’s massive Georgia plant from the early 1950s through the early 1980s.

Randall L. Patton provides a rare, perhaps unique, account of African American struggle and management response, set within the context of the regional and national struggles for civil rights. The book describes the complex interplay of black protest, federal policy, and management action in a crucial space in the national economy and within the South, contributing to business history, policy history, labor history, and civil rights history.

Patton does an outstanding job teasing out the constant racial struggles at Lockheed-Georgia in light of attempts to bridge the color line during the decades immediately preceding and following the civil rights movement.


Patton draws on company documents, employees’ personal papers, and oral histories to weave his narrative. His work especially shines when examining the personal experiences of African American employees. By showing how Black workers frequently faced discrimination and racism from their white peers and low-level managers who wanted to stymie upward mobility within the company, Patton provides insight into the pressures and anxieties Black workers faced daily.

—Journal of Southern History

About the Author/Editor

RANDALL L. PATTON is a professor of history at Kennesaw State University. He is coauthor, with David B. Parker, of Carpet Capital: The Rise of a New South Industry, author of Shaw Industries: A History, and editor of Working for Equality: The Narrative of Harry Hudson (all Georgia).