Blacks, Unions, & Organizing in the South, 1956-1996
A DOCUMENTARY HISTORY
Compiled by Rudolph Lewis
Monthly Organizing Report
August 22 Lutheran Hospital. Baltimore, Maryland. Hospital & Nursing Home Employees, Local 1199. For the Union 174; Against, 99; Challenged, 14. Election run by Maryland Dept. of Labor & Industry. Total eligible, 301. Worker contracts and meetings. Regional Participation. Advice & Counsel part-time.
August 28 and 29. Johns Hopkins Hospital. Baltimore, Maryland. Hospital & Nursing Home Employees, Local 1199. For the Union , 807; Against 460; Challenged 59; Void 1. Election run by Maryland Dept. of Labor and Industry. Eligible, 1455. Regional participation: Part-time worker contracts; spoke at meetings; advice and counsel.
Above: Fred A. Punch, First lead organizer, and then , president of Local 1199E, Hospital and Nursing Home Employees Union, AFL-CIO
posted 24 July 2008
* * * * *
By Charles C. Mann
Im a big fan of Charles Manns previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. Its exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that its anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, Im proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, globalized entity. Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple. We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth.
* * * * *
By Isabel Wilkerson
Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper’s wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man’s turkeys and was almost beaten to death. In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners’ plans to give him a “necktie party” (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by “the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn’t operate in his own home town.” Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist Wilkerson’s magnificent, extensively researched study of the “great migration,” the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an “uncertain existence” in the North and Midwest. Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind.
update 14 March 2012