American Experience
Early Years: Pivotal Decisions
Pivotal Decisions: Higher Wages or a Better Classification?

You chose Choice One. Blalock should tell Thomas that neither a raise nor a reclassification is possible.

Money is always tight in Blalock's department. Regardless of the inequity, Thomas should be satisfied with having a good job.


Thomas doesn't have a say in the matter -- many other men are out on the street, desperate for any kind of steady job to support their families.
The advantages of lab work over carpentry include: working out of the weather, an intellectual work environment, regular hours, no strenuous physical duties and a paid vacation.


Thomas might follow his brother Harold's lead and file a lawsuit challenging fixed pay for black workers (Harold sued the Nashville school district for equal pay among teachers).
Thomas was already finding it hard to provide for his family. He may leave to find better paying work.
Thomas' revelation is a double indignity, hitting both his pride and his pocketbook. It could be twice as hard to persuade him to stay.

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