16 results for “African Americans”

Underground Routes to Canada

Map showing routes used by African Americans fleeing slavery in the American South to free states in the North and to Canada. Before the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, African Americans who escaped slavery could live and work in relative freedom in northern states, although they usually did not have full political equality. After 1850 many of these Americans moved on to Canada where slavery had been abolished in 1834.

Date
1899
Subjects
Emancipation
Slavery
Underground Railroad
Places
Canada
Cleaning the "Vistadome" Car

Railroad work in the U.S. was segregated by race well into the 1950s. African Americans held jobs for car cleaners, maids, and porters, but rarely worked as conductors or engineers. Here an African American woman cleans the interior of the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy “Vistadome” car.

Creator
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
Date
ca. 1949
Subjects
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
Labor
Railroads
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Report from M. Butler to E.M. Graham, May 11, 1937

The report of an undercover agent to the Pullman Company. Since the late 19th century, the Pullman Company employed African Americans as service workers on its sleeping cars. By the 1920s it was one of the largest industrial employers of African American workers, enjoying a reputation for paternalism. Beginning in the mid-1920s the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) under the leadership of A. Philip Randolph sought to unionize the porters and maids of the Pullman Company. Like other industrial employers, Pullman maintained an extensive network of informants who infiltrated unions and reported back to management.

Date
May 11, 1937
Subjects
African Americans
Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
Unions
Working class
Places
Pullman (Chicago, Ill.)
Labor rally poster, Du Sable High School

Unionization will advance the cause of all African Americans. So said Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) leader A. Philip Randolph at Du Sable High School in 1937, according to the Pullman Company informant who attended the meeting. Chicago's Pullman Company was a major employer of African Americans and enjoyed a reputation for paternalism toward its workers, providing good wages and an Employee Representation Plan that the company promoted as an alternative to independent unions. Beginning in the mid-1920s the BSCP worked to unionize the porters and maids working in Pullman's sleeping cars. Like other Chicago companies, Pullman maintained an extensive network of informants who infiltrated unions and reported back to management (see image #121).

Date
May 9, 1937
Subjects
Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
Labor unions
Pullman Company
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
People
Randolph, A. Phillip
Cleaning the Vista Dome Car

A worker empties trash from a rail road dining car, 1949. Two workers are visible inside the car. Most railroad work was racially segregated into the 1950s with African Americans largely restricted to service jobs such as porters, cooks, and cleaners.

Creator
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
Date
ca. 1949
Subjects
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
Labor
Railroads
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Don't Shop Downtown Until Willis Goes

Chicago activists distributed the “Stop! Don't Shop Downtown” flyer during a campaign to oust Chicago Public Schools superintendent Benjamin Willis. Activists charged Willis with supporting segregated and inadequately funded schools for African Americans. In 1965, over 100,000 Chicago Public School students joined a two-day school boycott to protest the renewal of Willis's contract by the Chicago Board of Education.

Creator
Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
Date
1963
Subjects
African American life
Boycotts
Civil rights
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Memorandum regarding the Till murder trial, September 13, 1955, _Chicago Sun-Times_.

While visiting his relatives in Mississippi during the summer of 1955, fourteen-year old Chicagoan Emmett Till was lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Till's mother insisted on bringing her son's body back to Chicago and having an open casket funeral. Thousands of black Chicagoans came to bear witness to his brutal killing, and Jet magazine published dramatic images of Till's battered body. The state of Mississippi brought charges of murder against two white men, and an all-white jury quickly found them not guilty. The Department of Justice has recently re-opened an investigation into the case.

Date
1955
Subjects
African American Life
Civil rights
Journalism
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Southern States
People
Till, Emmitt
UPI Press wire demonstration at the _Chicago Sun-Times_ regarding editorial "Now that the March is Over," August 29, 1963

While returning to Chicago by train from the 1963 March on Washington, some civil rights activists read a Sun-Times editorial critical of Martin Luther King, Jr., and other leaders. As this newswire transcript recounts, some 300 activists marched directly from the train station to the Sun-Times building to picket. The newspaper's editors agreed to meet with leaders of the protest.

Date
1963
Subjects
African American life
Civil rights
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Washington D.C.
People
Black, Timuel
Beaver

This drawing depicts a beaver and a scene showing Native Americans capturing and drying the meat of wild “Beeves” (long horned beef cattle). Lahontan had visited New France with the French colonial army in the late 1780s, and his account of his travels helped shaped European perceptions of North America.

Creator
Lahontan, Louis Armand de Lom d'Arce, baron de
Date
1703
Wild Rivalries of Savage, Barbarous and Civilized Races

Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West show highlighted the horse-riding traditions of many countries, while always depicting white Americans as the most advanced. The three-way division of races between “savage” (Indians), “barbarous” (non-Christian), and “civilized” (white Europeans) was a common feature of racialist thinking at the turn of the 20th century.

Creator
Courier Litho. Co.
Date
c . 1896
Subjects
Race
Wild west shows