Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Mizell-Nelson, Michael

Second Advisor

Mitchell, Mary N.

Third Advisor

Powers, Madelon


The Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Union Local 93 was founded as a racially integrated union in New Orleans at the turn of the twentieth century. The Union was established by Irish Americans and New Orleans Afro-Creoles and represents a continuation of an Afro-Creole protest tradition that had existed since the eighteenth century in Louisiana. The cooperation between these Irish and Afro-Creole plasterers represented a social sodality of working class whites and bourgeois Afro-Creoles who defied social convention for mutual benefit. Through Local 93, Afro-Creoles were able to assert their political equality with whites and Irish Americans were able to engage in a sophisticated trade that had been traditionally dominated by Afro-Creoles in New Orleans. After almost a half-century of restricting union membership to whites and Afro-Creoles (typically restricting membership to the family of current union members), Local 93 experienced more thorough racial integration, allowing African Americans to join the union


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