William V. Banks seemingly did it all: he was a lawyer, minister, Freemason, businessman, and civic leader. He is perhaps best known as the founder of the United States’ first Black-owned and operated television station, WGPR-TV 62, and its sister radio station, WGPR-FM. In addition to all of these accomplishments, he was also known as an advocate for labor. In the 1930s, as the head of the Detroit arm of the International Labor Defense, he defended imprisoned striking workers in a business and social climate that was often hostile to organized labor and strikers. read more »
Born and raised in Chicago by Mexican-American parents, Nancy De Los Santos is an accomplished filmmaker and proud “Chicana from Chicago” who has dedicated her life and career to rewriting and redefining the image of Latina/os in the mainstream media. read more »
Since his early days as a child laborer in a textile mill, Dave Miller (1891-1979) devoted himself to the labor movement. Miller shared his life and times—and thoughts on the present and the future—in a circa-1972 interview available in the Reuther Library’s holdings.
Working on cataloging this interview, I came away impressed with Miller’s witness to a broad range of developments and events that shaped the twentieth century, not to mention his direct involvement in some them, including his advocacy for women’s suffrage and against the death penalty and his fight for universal health care. Miller deserves recognition for his pioneering work in the UAW alone, but he did that and more. read more »