Pullman Porters and the Rise of Protest Politics in Black America, 1925-1945

Author: Beth Tompkins Bates

Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press

ISBN: 9780807875360

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 5631

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Between World War I and World War II, African Americans' quest for civil rights took on a more aggressive character as a new group of black activists challenged the politics of civility traditionally embraced by old-guard leaders in favor of a more forceful protest strategy. Beth Tompkins Bates traces the rise of this new protest politics--which was grounded in making demands and backing them up with collective action--by focusing on the struggle of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) to form a union in Chicago, headquarters of the Pullman Company. Bates shows how the BSCP overcame initial opposition from most of Chicago's black leaders by linking its union message with the broader social movement for racial equality. As members of BSCP protest networks mobilized the black community around the quest for manhood rights and economic freedom, they broke down resistance to organized labor even as they expanded the boundaries of citizenship to include equal economic opportunity. By the mid-1930s, BSCP protest networks gained platforms at the national level, fusing Brotherhood activities first with those of the National Negro Congress and later with the March on Washington Movement. Lessons learned during this era guided the next generation of activists, who carried the black freedom struggle forward after World War II.

2001

Author: Massimo Mastrogregori

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

ISBN: 3110951401

Category: History

Page: 421

View: 4844

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Annually published since 1930, the International bibliography of Historical Sciences (IBOHS) is an international bibliography of the most important historical monographs and periodical articles published throughout the world, which deal with history from the earliest to the most recent times. The works are arranged systematically according to period, region or historical discipline, and within this classification alphabetically. The bibliography contains a geographical index and indexes of persons and authors.

North of the Color Line

Migration and Black Resistance in Canada, 1870-1955

Author: Sarah-Jane Mathieu

Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press

ISBN: 9780807899397

Category: Social Science

Page: 296

View: 9087

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North of the Color Line examines life in Canada for the estimated 5,000 blacks, both African Americans and West Indians, who immigrated to Canada after the end of Reconstruction in the United States. Through the experiences of black railway workers and their union, the Order of Sleeping Car Porters, Sarah-Jane Mathieu connects social, political, labor, immigration, and black diaspora history during the Jim Crow era. By World War I, sleeping car portering had become the exclusive province of black men. White railwaymen protested the presence of the black workers and insisted on a segregated workforce. Using the firsthand accounts of former sleeping car porters, Mathieu shows that porters often found themselves leading racial uplift organizations, galvanizing their communities, and becoming the bedrock of civil rights activism. Examining the spread of segregation laws and practices in Canada, whose citizens often imagined themselves as devoid of racism, Mathieu historicizes Canadian racial attitudes, and explores how black migrants brought their own sensibilities about race to Canada, participating in and changing political discourse there.

Rising from the Rails

Pullman Porters and the Making of the Black Middle Class

Author: Larry Tye

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 1466818751

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 9602

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An engaging social history that reveals the critical role Pullman porters played in the struggle for African American civil rights When George Pullman began recruiting Southern blacks as porters in his luxurious new sleeping cars, the former slaves suffering under Jim Crow laws found his offer of a steady job and worldly experience irresistible. They quickly signed up to serve as maid, waiter, concierge, nanny, and occasionally doctor and undertaker to cars full of white passengers, making the Pullman Company the largest employer of African American men in the country by the 1920s. In the world of the Pullman sleeping car, where whites and blacks lived in close proximity, porters developed a unique culture marked by idiosyncratic language, railroad lore, and shared experience. They called difficult passengers "Mister Charlie"; exchanged stories about Daddy Jim, the legendary first Pullman porter; and learned to distinguish generous tippers such as Humphrey Bogart from skinflints like Babe Ruth. At the same time, they played important social, political, and economic roles, carrying jazz and blues to outlying areas, forming America's first black trade union, and acting as forerunners of the modern black middle class by virtue of their social position and income. Drawing on extensive interviews with dozens of porters and their descendants, Larry Tye reconstructs the complicated world of the Pullman porter and the vital cultural, political, and economic roles they played as forerunners of the modern black middle class. Rising from the Rails provides a lively and enlightening look at this important social phenomenon.

Proudly We Can Be Africans

Black Americans and Africa, 1935-1961

Author: James H. Meriwether

Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press

ISBN: 9780807860410

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 5066

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The mid-twentieth century witnessed nations across Africa fighting for their independence from colonial forces. By examining black Americans' attitudes toward and responses to these liberation struggles, James Meriwether probes the shifting meaning of Africa in the intellectual, political, and social lives of African Americans. Paying particular attention to such important figures and organizations as W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., and the NAACP, Meriwether incisively utilizes the black press, personal correspondence, and oral histories to render a remarkably nuanced and diverse portrait of African American opinion. Meriwether builds the book around seminal episodes in modern African history, including nonviolent protests against apartheid in South Africa, the Mau Mau war in Kenya, Ghana's drive for independence under Kwame Nkrumah, and Patrice Lumumba's murder in the Congo. Viewing these events within the context of their own changing lives, especially in regard to the U.S. civil rights struggle, African Americans have continually reconsidered their relationship to contemporary Africa and vigorously debated how best to translate their concerns into action in the international arena. Grounded in black Americans' encounters with Africa, this transnational history sits astride the leading issues of the twentieth century: race, civil rights, anticolonialism, and the intersections of domestic race relations and U.S. foreign relations.

Marching Together

Women of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters

Author: Melinda Chateauvert

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

ISBN: 9780252066368

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 267

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In this first book-length history of the women of the BSCP, Melinda Chateauvert brings to life an entire group of women ignored in previous histories of the Brotherhood and of working-class women, situating them in the debates among women's historians over the ways that race and class shape women's roles and gender relations. Chateauvert's work shows how the auxiliary, made up of the wives, daughters, and sisters of Pullman porters, used the Brotherhood to claim respectability and citizenship. Pullman maids, relegated to the auxiliary, found their problems as working women neglected in favor of the rhetoric of racial solidarity.

Death Blow to Jim Crow

The National Negro Congress and the Rise of Militant Civil Rights

Author: Erik S. Gellman

Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press

ISBN: 0807869937

Category: Social Science

Page: 368

View: 4245

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During the Great Depression, black intellectuals, labor organizers, and artists formed the National Negro Congress (NNC) to demand a "second emancipation" in America. Over the next decade, the NNC and its offshoot, the Southern Negro Youth Congress, sought to coordinate and catalyze local antiracist activism into a national movement to undermine the Jim Crow system of racial and economic exploitation. In this pioneering study, Erik S. Gellman shows how the NNC agitated for the first-class citizenship of African Americans and all members of the working class, establishing civil rights as necessary for reinvigorating American democracy. Much more than just a precursor to the 1960s civil rights movement, this activism created the most militant interracial freedom movement since Reconstruction, one that sought to empower the American labor movement to make demands on industrialists, white supremacists, and the state as never before. By focusing on the complex alliances between unions, civic groups, and the Communist Party in five geographic regions, Gellman explains how the NNC and its allies developed and implemented creative grassroots strategies to weaken Jim Crow, if not deal it the "death blow" they sought.

Railroads in the African American Experience

A Photographic Journey

Author: Theodore Kornweibel

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 557

View: 2615

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Surveys the African American railroad experience, from the work of slaves who laid rail and the activism of the famous Pullman Porters to the lives of current black railroad employees and passengers.

Hey Boy! Hey George! the Pullman Porter

A Pullman Porter's Story

Author: Johnnie F. Kirvin,Carla Simone Kirvin

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781439262313

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 218

View: 2237

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A powerful journey of a black man's dreams and dilemmas, fears and perseverance. Cerebral and racy, historical and reflective, "Hey boy! Hey George!" The Pullman Porter chronicles Kirvin's experience as a Pullman porter during WWII. Some viewed Pullman porters as prestigious breadwinners, while others viewed them as glorified servants, but what was it really like to deliver a standard of excellence while trying to survive and earn a living under Jim Crow segregation laws? Experience Kirvin's challenges firsthand, then decide for yourself.

To Stand and Fight

Author: Martha BIONDI

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674020952

Category: History

Page: 368

View: 9350

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The story of the civil rights movement typically begins with the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955 and culminates with the 1965 voting rights struggle in Selma. But as Martha Biondi shows, a grassroots struggle for racial equality in the urban North began a full ten years before the rise of the movement in the South. This story is an essential first chapter, not only to the southern movement that followed, but to the riots that erupted in northern and western cities just as the civil rights movement was achieving major victories. Biondi tells the story of African Americans who mobilized to make the war against fascism a launching pad for a postwar struggle against white supremacy at home. Rather than seeking integration in the abstract, black New Yorkers demanded first-class citizenship--jobs for all, affordable housing, protection from police violence, access to higher education, and political representation. This powerful local push for economic and political equality met broad resistance, yet managed to win several landmark laws barring discrimination and segregation. To Stand and Fight demonstrates how black New Yorkers launched the modern civil rights struggle and left a rich legacy. Table of Contents: Prologue: The Rise of the Struggle for Negro Rights 1 Jobs for All 2 Black Mobilization and Civil Rights Politics 3 Lynching, Northern style 4 Desegregating the metropolis 5 Dead Letter Legislation 6 An Unnatural Division of People 7 Anticommunism and Civil Rights 8 The Paradoxical Effects of the Cold War 9 Racial Violence in the Free World 10 Lift Every Voice and Vote 11 Resisting Resegregation 12 To Stand and Fight Epilogue: Another Kind of America Notes Acknowledgments Illustration Credits Index Reviews of this book: Historians have thoroughly documented the experiences of those African Americans who lived in the South and worked to repeal Jim Crow laws. However, in this work, Biondi explores what she calls 'the struggle for Negro rights' in New York City, an exploration resulting in a stark reminder of the daily challenges facing blacks who lived in northern cities...With its detailed discussions of the American Labor Party, the Communist Party, Black Nationalism, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., W. E. B. Dubois, Roy Wilkins, and, especially, Paul Robeson, this work should be required reading for all historians interested in the post-WW II experience of African Americans in the urban North. --T. D. Beal, Choice Reviews of this book: In this meticulously researched monograph, Biondi reminds the reader that the struggle for black civil rights was waged in the North before it was joined in the South. She documents the fight against racial discrimination in hiring, police brutality, housing segregation, lack of political representation, and inadequate schools in New York City between 1946 and 1954...Biondi's writing is crisp and direct. She introduces the reader to a host of activists whose efforts deserve to be remembered. Unfortunately, most of the causes they championed remain with us today. --Paul T. Murray, MultiCultural Review With stunning research and powerful arguments, Martha Biondi charts a new direction in civil rights history - the northern side of the black freedom struggle. Biondi presents postwar New York as a battleground, no less than the Jim Crow South, for the fight against police brutality and discrimination in employment, housing, retail stores, and places of amusement. Men and women, trade unionists and religious leaders, integrationists and separatists, liberals and the Left come together in this pathbreaking study of America's largest and most cosmopolitan city. --Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham,, editor-in-chief of The Harvard Guide to African-American History To Stand and Fight brilliantly re-writes the history of postwar social movements in New York City. Martha Biondi has not only extended our view of the civil rights movement to the urban North, but she places the movement squarely within an international framework. She redefines the movement, focusing on the specific struggles that mattered: jobs, welfare, housing, police misconduct, political representation, and black people's ongoing battle for independence in the colonies. To Stand and Fight will stand out as a major contribution to an already burgeoning field of civil rights studies. --Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination To Stand and Fight establishes that New York was as important a battleground for racial equality as Montgomery or Birmingham. Martha Biondi has done a great service by uncovering the rich and largely forgotten history of New York's role in the African American freedom struggle. --Thomas J. Sugrue, author of The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit

Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950

Author: Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393335321

Category: History

Page: 646

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A history of the effort to promote social justice throughout the American South in the decades prior to the civil rights movement documents the contributions of people from all walks of life, in an account that places key events against a backdrop of national and global events. Reprint.

The Black Experience in America

Author: Norman Coombs

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1627936866

Category: History

Page: 191

View: 3611

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In three parts, Norman Coomb's addresses the history of the African Americans beginning with the slave trade to the fight for freedom and lastly to the search for equality.

Apartheid's Reluctant Uncle

The United States and Southern Africa in the Early Cold War

Author: Thomas Borstelmann

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0195079426

Category: History

Page: 298

View: 9102

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Despite the unsavory racism of Malan's government - Borstelmann shows that Pretoria fomented violence among black groups in the late 1940s, just as it has done recently between the ANC and Inkatha - the U.S. saw South Africa as a dependable and important ally. In addition, America was almost completely dependent on southern Africa for its uranium supply, and was willing to go to great lengths to secure the critical fuel for its nuclear arsenal. Borstelmann also notes that race relations in the segregated U.S. played a role in Washington's policies, with few white Americans greatly disturbed by the establishment of apartheid. As South Africa finally nears an end to almost fifty years of formal apartheid (and as Truman nears canonization, following the recent presidential election), Borstelmann's account comes as a startling reminder of America's early links to Pretoria's racist system

American Mobilities

Geographies of Class, Race, and Gender in US Culture

Author: Julia Leyda

Publisher: transcript Verlag

ISBN: 3839434556

Category: Social Science

Page: 216

View: 6600

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American Mobilities investigates representations of mobility - social, economic, geographic - in American film and literature during the Depression, WWII, and the early Cold War. With an emphasis on the dual meaning of "domestic," referring to both the family home and the nation, this study traces the important trope of mobility that runs through the "American" century. Juxtaposing canonical fiction with popular, and low-budget independent films with Classical Hollywood, Leyda brings the analytic tools of American cultural and literary studies to bear on an eclectic array of primary texts as she builds a case for the significance of mobility in the study of the United States.

A People's History of the United States

1492-Present

Author: Howard Zinn

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317325303

Category: History

Page: 744

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This is a new edition of the radical social history of America from Columbus to the present. This powerful and controversial study turns orthodox American history upside down to portray the social turmoil behind the "march of progress". Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of - and in the words of - America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of America's greatest battles - the fights for fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women's rights, racial equality - were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance. Covering Christopher Columbus's arrival through the Clinton years A People's History of the United States, which was nominated for the American Book Award in 1981, is an insightful analysis of the most important events in US history.