Blogs

Collection Spotlight: Rose Pesotta

(3993) Rose Pesotta, Roy Reuther, Flint, Michigan

This Women’s History Month, we bring you the story of an activist and labor leader whose fascinating life needs to be remembered and re-appreciated. For several decades, Rose Pesotta organized across the country for garment workers in New York, rubber and auto workers in the Midwest, and immigrant laborers in California. She also worked for victims of government persecution, war and prejudice. Pesotta was a pioneer in labor organizing, an unstoppable force for the common worker, for the immigrant and for justice.  read more »

Fishman Grantees: 2017

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 2017. 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.  read more »

Oral History Heroes: William V. Banks

 (vmc3323) Television; Stations; WGPR-TV; New All Black Station.

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 »

Chicana Fotos on Display at the Reuther Library

(35634) Chicana Fotos Exhibit

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 »

Oral History Heroes: Dave Miller

(5098) Child Labor, Miners, 1910s

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 »

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