Welcome to the Reuther Library's podcast archive. They are arranged by publication date with the most recent on top and the oldest at the bottom.

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Podcast: "Democracy is Sweeping Over the World:" Brookwood Labor College at the Nexus of Transnational Radicalism in the Jazz Age

(6199) Brookwood Labor College; Class Meetings

While the 1920s are often described as "lean years" of progressive action, Andreas Meyris explains how the Brookwood Labor College in Katonah, New York served as a conduit for transnational radicalism in the 1920s while also training labor journalists and up-and-coming labor leaders like Walter Reuther and Rose Pesotta, setting the stage for the explosion of industrial unionism during the 1930s.  read more »

Podcast: The First Noel (Night): How the Public Found Its Detroit Adventure in Noel Night, The City's Festive Cultural Open House

Outreach archivist Meghan Courtney traces the evolution of Detroit Adventure, a coalition of cultural organizations founded in 1958 to promote cultural conversations and experiences in metropolitan Detroit. In 1973 the organization debuted Noel Night, a free holiday open house in Detroit's cultural center.  read more »

Podcast: Speak to the Earth and it Shall Teach Thee: Catholic Nuns, the United Farm Workers Movement, and the Rise of an Environmental Ethic, 1962-1978

(38505) Fast for Non-Violence, Catholic Church, California, 1968

John Buchkoski explores the role that religious women had in grassroots social activism in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly organizations of Catholic women religious. He explains how these groups supported United Farm Worker strikes by publicizing the environmental and health effects of pesticide use and popularizing produce boycotts across Catholic communities. Buchkoski is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Oklahoma.  read more »

Podcast: Halloween Spooktacular - Supernatural Stories from Detroit Folklore

(37226) Folklore Archive; Index Cards

Archivist Elizabeth Clemens shares spooky stories from the Reuther Library's Folklore Archives about Le Loup Garou, or the Werewolf of Grosse Pointe; the Ghost of Tanglewood Bridge on Detroit's Belle Isle; hauntings at home; and a helpful witch on Detroit's McClellan Street who fetched groceries and hung her skin on the wall. Archivist Bart Bealmear reminds us of Gundella the Green Witch, a local personality with an advice column in Detroit-area newspapers in the 1970s and 1980s.  read more »

Podcast: International Architect Minoru Yamasaki’s Impact on the Wayne State Campus

College of Education and McGregor Memorial Conference Center Reflecting Pool, 1961

Reuther Library archivist Shae Rafferty discusses the career of Minoru Yamasaki, renown architect of the original World Trade Center, the Dhahran International Airport in Saudi Arabia, as well as many buildings in the metropolitan Detroit area. University archivist Alison Stankrauff shares the history and design of four Yamasaki buildings on the campus of Wayne State University in Detroit.  read more »

Podcast: 1933 Chicago Teachers Walkout: That Time Teachers Rioted With Textbooks and Rulers

Chicago Teachers' Union (CTU), demonstration, Chicago, Illinois

American Federation of Teachers archivist Dan Golodner tells ALPA archivist and guest host Bart Bealmear about the 1933 Chicago Teachers Walkout, when Chicago teachers joined together to demand that they be paid in actual money and on time, rather than in scrip that wasn’t honored by local businesses and banks during the Great Depression.  read more »

Podcast: Assembly Line Housing: Walter P. Reuther, George Romney, and Operation Breakthrough – Part 2

(28771) Detroit Housing Has not Kept Up with Population

In the second of a two-part series, Dr. Kristin M. Szylvian explains how racial segregation and the fear of declining property values ultimately scuttled Operation Breakthrough, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Program early in the Nixon administration to use union-made manufactured housing to create racially- and economically-integrated housing communities throughout the country.  read more »

Podcast: Assembly Line Housing: Walter P. Reuther, George Romney, and Operation Breakthrough – Part 1

In the first of a two-part series, Dr. Kristin Szylvian explains the role of the American labor movement, and UAW president Walter Reuther in particular, in lobbying for and shaping fair housing programs and legislation in Detroit and nationally after the Second World War. That influence paved the way for an unlikely alliance in the 1960s between Reuther and George Romney, the former Republican governor of Michigan, when they joined together in the late 1960s to launch Operation Breakthrough, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program to use union-made manufactured housing to alleviate the housing crisis in minority communities while also creating job opportunities and encouraging racial and income integration in the larger community.  read more »

Podcast: I Am A Man: Photographer Richard Copley Recalls His First Assignment, 50 Years After the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike


AFSCME archivist Stefanie Caloia shares photographer Richard Copley's story of his very first and what he considers his most important assignment covering the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike and, ultimately, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination and memorial march.  read more »

Podcast: Jessica Levy on "Black Power, Inc.: Global American Business and the Post-Apartheid City"

Jessica Levy explains how American corporations and black entrepreneurs worked together to forge a new politics linking American business with black liberation at home and abroad, focusing particularly on Leon Howard Sullivan, a civil rights leader and board member of General Motors  read more »

Podcast: American Labor's Anti-Apartheid Movement and Nelson Mandela's 1990 U.S. Tour

Meghan Courtney, Reuther Library archivist, discusses Nelson Mandela's 1990 visit to the U.S. as well as his long-term relationship with the American Labor Movement during his time in prison and after his release.

Mandela's 12 day, 8 city fundraising tour in June 1990 took place just months after his release from 27 years in a South African prison and included visits to the AFL-CIO, AFSCME's convention, UAW Local 600 and Tiger Stadium.

Courtney explores Mandela's philosophical alignment with the labor movement,  read more »

Podcast: Julia Gunn on Civil Rights Anti-Unionism: Charlotte and the Remaking of Anti-Labor Politics in the Modern South

Dr. Julia Gunn explains how progressive civil rights politics enabled Charlotte, North Carolina, to become the nation’s second-largest largest financial capital while obscuring its intransigence towards working-class protest, including public sector sanitation workers, bus drivers, firefighters, and domestic workers.  read more »

Dawn Mabalon on UFW labor organizer Larry Itliong – Part 2

In part 2 of our interview with Dawn Mabalon, she explains how her personal and familial interests influenced her research on the life and work of United Farm Workers labor organizer Larry Itliong, as well as her forthcoming children’s book, Journey for Justice: The Life of Larry Itliong.  read more »

Dawn Mabalon on UFW labor organizer Larry Itliong – Part 1

In this inaugural episode of Tales from the Reuther Library, Dawn Mabalon, an Associate Professor at San Francisco State University, shares her research on the life and work of Larry Itliong, a Filipino leader of California’s farm labor movement.  read more »

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