This article offers a political reading of In the Company of Men (dir. William Greaves, US, 1969), an industrial human relations and training film that Newsweek magazine commissioned the renowned black American filmmaker William Greaves to make. Tasked by his sponsors with repairing communication between white factory foremen and black men who were labeled the hard‐core unemployed, Greaves combines the documentary style of cinéma vérité with psychodrama, a group therapy method that uses theatrical techniques of role‐play and reenactment to both reveal and treat social conflict. Situating psychodrama as both a gendered strategy of racial governance and a model of workplace training tied to the emerging social conditions of the deindustrializing United States, this article focuses on the labor performed by the unemployed black men within the therapeutic division of labor that Greaves's film indexes and reproduces. In doing so, it argues that Greaves's film not only documents contradictions of inclusion and recognition in the late 1960s, when the postwar ideology of racial liberalism was in decline, but it also anticipates the extractive racial politics of capitalism in the early twenty‐first century, as people who have been consigned to the status of social and industrial excess are put into service for the emotional training of capital's managers.

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