Black history is labor history


On January 13, 1869 over 200 black delegates met in Washington, D.C., to form what became the Colored National Labor Union. Frederick Douglass became the union’s president in 1872 and his newspaper, the National New Era, its official voice.

“Let’s celebrate and honor Black history by recognizing and committing to all of the work we have still to do. No one is equal until we are all equal.”

That’s how California home-care union leader Doug Moore, sees it. His union, the United Domestic Workers of America (UDW), argues that “the workers’ rights and civil rights movements have been inextricably since their beginnings.”

For UDW members, “Black history is labor history,” writes Moore. For the full article go to Huffington Post.

For more on black history and unions, see PNLHA Washington trustee Michael Honey’s recent work on John Handcox, an African-American “who braved the wrath of plantation owners by using his gift for song to organize sharecroppers into a union.”