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Fishman Grantees 2018

The Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State University is pleased to announce the awards from the Sam Fishman Travel Grant program for 2018. These annual grants provide up to $1,000 to support travel to the Reuther Library to access archival records related to the American labor movement. The award is named in honor of Sam Fishman, a former UAW and Michigan AFL-CIO leader.

As part of their research visits, awardees are invited to speak about their work at an informal event at the Reuther Library or as part of the North American Labor History Conference (NALHC) held on the Wayne State University campus in the fall. Watch for details of these events as individuals finalize their travel and research plans.

The 2018 awardees are:  read more »

Meet Alison Stankrauff, University Archivist

Although Wayne State University archivist Alison Stankrauff loved history, she wasn't quite sure what to do with her history degree as an undergraduate student at Antioch College in Ohio. That changed when she landed an internship at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. There, she was tasked with researching the oldest house in the city, built by the city's founders and rumored to have been a stop on the Underground Railroad.  read more »

1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

(8885) I AM a Man

AFSCME Local 1733 was several years in the making.

Thomas Oliver (T.O.) Jones passionately believed in the necessity of a union for sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee. A sanitation worker himself, he experienced unfair working conditions and accompanying low pay. In the 1960s, forty percent of full-time Memphis sanitation workers qualified for welfare assistance. The men had to carry heavy trash bins, often leaking, from residents’ yards to the trucks in sweltering Memphis heat. Black workers did not  read more »

Now on view: All Labor Has Dignity: The 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike, Photographs by Richard L. Copley

(8890) Dignity sought in Memphis

In 1968, Memphis sanitation workers, AFSCME Local 1733, went on strike for increased wages and union recognition, but most importantly, to be treated with respect and dignity. The strike became an important chapter in the civil rights movement, attracting the support of Martin Luther King, Jr., who was visiting the striking workers when he was assassinated. Photographer Richard L. Copley documented key moments  read more »

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