*Please Note: This meeting of the labor seminar will be held in the Gage Gallery at Roosevelt University: 18 South Michigan Avenue, First Floor. This meeting will NOT take place at the Newberry Library.*
February 18, 2011, 3:00–5:00 p.m.
*Special Session held at Roosevelt University*
"Nothing but Union Men:" A Black and White Workers Alliance in Industrializing Chicago
Margaret Garb, Washington University
Commentators: Peter Cole, Western Illinois University and Gregory Wilson, University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago’s Culinary Alliance was a rare example of successful inter-racial labor organizing in 1890s Chicago. The Alliance, formed by sixteen German waiters on 3 January 1889, quickly expanded to include most of Chicago’s African American waiters, cooks and bartenders working in the oyster houses, lunch counters and hotels in the city’s commercial center. The Alliance’s history demonstrates that an urban black proletariat was emerging even before the Great Migration, that African-American activists consciously linked struggles over working conditions to civil rights, and that the industrializing north profoundly shaped black politics in the twentieth century. For scholars, it suggests a new geography of post-Reconstruction politics, highlighting the powerful impact of race on urban labor organizing and politics.
Following the discussion, a reception will be held in the Gage Gallery, where the following exhibit is on display:
Working-Class Eye of Milton Rogovin
A one-of-a-kind, vintage photo exhibit that tells compelling stories about work and working-class people through the eyes of renowned photographer Milton Rogovin. The debut exhibit, The Working-Class Eye of Milton Rogovin, features some striking images of workers from the living photographer’s collection that have never been seen before by the public.
All papers are pre-circulated electronically to those who plan to attend the seminar in person. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Heather Radke at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 312-255-3524. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.
Co-sponsored by the History Departments of Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, Roosevelt University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at theUniversity of Chicago; and Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas
Scholl Center for
American History and Culture
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago IL 60610
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