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Blacks, Unions & Organizing in the South (1956-1996)

A Documentary History

Compiled by Rudolph Lewis

 

 

MD Freedom Union Files Constitution

Afro-American (May 10, 1966)

 

            The Maryland Freedom Union (MFU) Monday filed its constitution with the National Labor Relations Board, thus making it a legally established union.

            Howard Quandry, a volunteer organizer for the MFU, said Miss Vivian Jones and Miss Ola Johnson, president and secretary of the union, went to Washington with two other organizers to file the document with the NLRB's Labor Disclosure Division.

            Mr. Quandry said Monday was the deadline for the filing of the constitution which must be done 90 days after a union is first organized.

            If no constitution is filed before the deadline, "union officers are subject to a year in jail and a heavy fine."

            Mr. Quandry said the union had discussed its constitution with NLRB officials previously and had expanded it after being informed of various points which such constitutions are required to cover.

            The MFU was founded early in February when workers went out on strike at two West Baltimore nursing homes. Since then the union has begun to organize workers in small retail and service establishments in the inner-city and won a recognition agreement from Silverman's Department Store chain.

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New Group 'Now a Union':

Freedom Unit Files With Labor Department

Baltimore Afro-American, May 10, 1966

 

            The infant Maryland Freedom Union yesterday filed a copy of its constitution with the Bureau of Labor Management of the United states Department of Labor in a move to gain recognition as a legitimate labor organization.

            "We are a union now, not just a group," said Howard Qunder, a field representative of the Congress of Racial Equality. He is one of the several C.O.R.E. workers--in town for the summer project--who are also assisting the Freedom Labor Union.

            The filing of the union's constitution is a requirement of the Labor Management Disclosure and reporting Act of 1959.

            1st Victory Won. Filing of the constitution came after the Freedom Labor Union won its first victory last week, when it gained a recognition agreement as the bargaining agent with Silverman's department Stores. C.O.R.E. had organized a boycott of the stores for two days before the agreement.

            John V. Moran, assistant director for compliance operations in the Office of Labor Management said yesterday that if "the Maryland Freedom Union says they're a union, we'll take their word for it."

            "You don't have to be very big or very formal to be a labor organization," he said.

            Strikes Unsuccessful. The Maryland Freedom Union got off to an unpromising start in Baltimore three months ago, when it organized two unsuccessful nursing home strikes.

            Since then, the union's staff has been beefed up by C.O.R.E. field workers and has shifted its target to the smaller, non-union retail stores.

            "It's much easier to boycott a retail store than a nursing home," said Michael Flug, another C.O.R.E. field worker.

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RETAIL STORE EMPLOYEES' UNION, Local 692

Retail Clerks International Association, AFL-CIO

305 W. Monument St.

Baltimore 1, Maryland

Mr. Oliver Singleton

Director

AFL-CIO, Region No. 4

305 W. Monument Street

Baltimore, Maryland 1

 

Dear Brother Singleton:

            As you are aware, the Freedom Union has allegedly organized a retail food store on Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore.

            Specifically, I wish to know the policy of the Civil Rights Department in regards to this action. Based on information that this group is apparently trying to organize in the retail field, I field it is imperative that we have a decision as rapidly as possible.

            With kindest regards, I am

Fraternally yours,

Alvin Akman

Secretary Treasurer

posted 24 July 2008

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Roy Wilkins and Spiro Agnew in Annapolis  /  Agnew Speaks to Black Baltimore Leaders 1968

The End of Black Rage? Class and Delusion in Black America (Jared Ball)

The Black Generation Gap (Ellis Cose)  / Walter Hall Lively   Forty Years of Determined Struggle 

Putting Baltimore's People First  Dominance of Johns Hopkins   A Brief Economic History of Modern Baltimore

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake.  . . .—WashingtonPost

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What This Cruel War Was Over

Soldiers Slavery and the Civil War

By Chandra Manning

For this impressively researched Civil War social history, Georgetown assistant history professor Manning visited more than two dozen states to comb though archives and libraries for primary source material, mostly diaries and letters of men who fought on both sides in the Civil War, along with more than 100 regimental newspapers. The result is an engagingly written, convincingly argued social history with a point—that those who did the fighting in the Union and Confederate armies "plainly identified slavery as the root of the Civil War." Manning backs up her contention with hundreds of first-person testimonies written at the time, rather than often-unreliable after-the-fact memoirs. While most Civil War narratives lean heavily on officers, Easterners and men who fought in Virginia, Manning casts a much broader net. She includes immigrants, African-Americans and western fighters, in order, she says, "to approximate cross sections of the actual Union and Confederate ranks." —Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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