the noise and ghosts in my head
We talked about how black cowboys came west after the Civil War, and how many of them, aging out of the profession, transferred their skills into service as Pullman porters. How those same porters formed the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, American’s first majority-black union and the first since the end of slavery to successfully negotiate for better wages and working conditions for black workers. BSCP established its headquarters in West Oakland at the end of the national rail lines, and the children that those men fathered and raised would take their fathers’ and grandfathers’ lessons in organizing as they formed the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.
march 2017
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