Today in labor history: Black workers form national union

picture2

(UCS) - Today in labor history, Dec. 6, 1869, African American delegates met in Washington, D.C., to form the Colored National Labor Union as a branch of the all-white National Labor Union created three years earlier. Unlike the NLU, the CNLU welcomed members of all races. Isaac Myers was the CNLU's founding president; Frederick Douglass became president in 1872. Myers said prophetically the CNLU was a "safeguard for the colored man...the white and color must come together and work." This was just four years after the end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery.

Previously in 1866, the National Labor Union (NLU) was established. One of the coordinators of the NLU, A.C. Cameron, while speaking at a national convention focused on the issue of Black workers and declared, "...interests of the labor cause demand that all workingmen be included within the ranks without regard to race or nationality..."

However, despite this statement, segregation reigned and the best that was offered to the African American workers was permission to arrange a separate union to be a branch of the NLU.

Photo: Illustration from Harper's Weekly of the Colored National Labor Union convention in Washington, D.C. (Wikipedia)

Post your comment

Comments are moderated. See guidelines here.

Comments

  • Keep history alive by telling that history:

    Read the greatest 'novel', Rescue at Pine Ridge, the first generation of Buffalo Soldiers. The website is: http://www.rescueatpineridge.com This is the greatest story of Black Military History...5 stars Amazon internationally, and Barnes & Noble. Youtube commercials are: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iD66NUKmZPs and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEgEqgNi2Is

    Rescue at Pine Ridge is the epic story of the 9th Cavalry from its Congressional conception in 1866, to the rescue of the famed 7th Cavalry by the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers, 1890. The 7th Cavalry was entrapped again, after the Little Big Horn Massacre, fourteen years later, the day after the Wounded Knee Massacre. If it wasn't for the 9th Buffalo Soldiers, there would of been a second massacre of the 7th Cavalry. This story is about, brutality, compassion, reprisal, bravery, heroism, redemption and gallantry.

    You’ll enjoy the novel that embodies the Native Americans, Outlaws and African-American/Black soldiers, from the east to the west, from the south to the north, in the days of the Native American Wars with the approaching United States of America.

    The novel was taken from my mini-series movie with the same title, “RaPR” to keep the story alive. The movie so far has the interest of major actors in which we are in talks with, in starring in this epic American story.

    When you get a chance, also please visit our Alpha Wolf Production website at; http://www.alphawolfprods.com and see our other productions, like Stagecoach Mary, the first Black Woman to deliver mail for the US Postal System in Montana, in the 1890's, “spread the word”, http://www.stagecoachmary.net.

    Peace.

    Posted by Erich Hicks, 12/07/2012 4:03pm (1 year ago)

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments