Research Catalog

Blacks in the railroad industry collection,

Blacks in the railroad industry collection, 1946-1954.
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FormatAccessStatusCall NumberLocation
TextUse in libraryAvailableSc Micro R-3872Schomburg Center - Research & Reference


  • .4 lin. ft.
  • 1 microfilm reel.
  • Sc MG 50.
Access (note)
  • Researchers are restricted to microfilm copy.
Additional Formats (note)
  • Collection available on microfilm;
Reproduction (note)
  • Microfilm.
Processing Action (note)
  • Processed
  • Surveyed
  • Cataloging updated
Call Number
Sc Micro R-3872
Blacks in the railroad industry collection, 1946-1954.
Researchers are restricted to microfilm copy.
The Blacks in the Railroad Industry Collection is comprised of a variety of materials documenting the struggle of black railroad employees against ouster from the industry by collusive actions of the companies and the unions. While provenance seems to be uncertain, holograph notes on many of the documents appear to have been done by Robert Wood, editor of "The Railroad Workers' Link," a newspaper published by the Railroad Committee of the Communist Party. In addition, the few original items in the collection are addressed specifically to him or to the "Link."
The papers have been divided into six series: correspondence, unions and union-related organizations, writings, legal documents, memoranda, and printed material. The collection does not form a cohesive unit; rather it is an artificial collection of materials seemingly gathered for research and information purposes. Therefore, it has been organized by subject or type of document; within that sequence the papers have been arranged chronologically.
Included are speeches by Charles Houston addressing issues of discrimination in the industry, and some legal documents from a suit filed by
his firm against a railroad company. Houston was one of the lawyers who worked on behalf of black railroad workers and whose Washington, D.C. firm of Houston, Hastie and Joseph C. Waddy, litigated many of the cases against unions and railroad companies. Other documents in the collection are membership rosters for various black and white unions; documents related to the formation of the Negro Railway Labor Executives Committee (NRLEC), an organization established to collect, formulate, and disseminate information concerning black railroad employees and to determine effective actions to be taken; memoranda prepared for the 1949 U.S. House of Representatives Special Subcommittee on Education and Labor hearings, co-chaired by Adam C. Powell, Jr. on fair employment practices legislation. The memoranda deal with a number of issues dating to 1917, including wages of black workers, attempts by white unions and the railroad companies to drive blacks out of the industry and racial employment policies during the First and Second World Wars; and printed matter including newsletters published by black organizations and news clippings.
Additional Formats
Collection available on microfilm; Scholarly Resources, Inc.; call number SC Micro R-3872.
Microfilm. New York, N.Y. : New York Public Library, marketed by Scholarly Resources Inc., 19--. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (MN *ZZ-18067)
Finding Aids
"Blacks in the Railroad Industry, 1946-1954" in "Manuscript Collection from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture: Guide to the Scholarly Resources Microfilm Edition." Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, Inc.
Connect to:
ms 82001352
Research Call Number
Sc Micro R-3872
View in Legacy Catalog