William Henry Winslow, better known as Henry Winslow, was born on July 14, 1903, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, where he attended elementary school, high school, and a normal school (or teachers’ college). In 1930, Winslow relocated to New York where he spent the rest of his life. In New York City, Winslow held several jobs in public service, first working for the U.S. Postal Service and then as the Senior Crew Chief for the Housing and Development Agency, where he eventually became that union’s (possibly now known as the Teamsters Local 237) labor negotiator. In 1940, Winslow was a candidate to the State Legislature for the American Labor Party. Winslow worked to organize African Americans in order to integrate them into segregated labor unions throughout the city. These efforts eventually led to the creation of the Negro American Labor Council’s Operation: Fight Back! in 1964. Winslow was a member of various organizations: the Retirees’ group of District 37 in Manhattan, the Jackie Robinson Senior Citizens Center, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Association for the Afro-American Life and History, the John Brown Memorial Group (as historian), and the Morningside Gardens Credit Union (as treasurer). In the 1980s, after his retirement, Winslow taught classes in African American history at the Jackie Robinson Daycare Center of Grant Houses. On March 29, 1969, Henry Winslow and Sadie Mills married and remained together until Henry’s death on June 30, 1989.
Sadie Winslow, born in 1917, in New Haven, Connecticut, has been described as a pillar of the Harlem community. As a child, she was influenced by the Marcus Garvey Movement meetings she attended with her uncle. Winslow received a B.A. in Education from St. Augustine College and studied early childhood education at New York University and the University of Puerto Rico. She eventually taught education as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Hunter College and William Paterson College in New Jersey. Winslow worked in over a dozen community service organizations: Community Board No. 9, Harlem Landmarks, Health Insurance Plan (HIP) of Greater New York, Morningside Retirement and Health Services, Louise Wise Adoption Agency, West Side Inter-Agency, The NYC Chapter of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, Inc., Harlem Elders, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Friends of George Bruce Library, and Riverside Church. She was also the co-founder of Seniors Helping Seniors and the co-chair of the Senior Citizen Issues Committee. She served as a representative for the New York City and State Department of Aging; this appointment led to better accessibility at the 125th St. subway station for senior citizens. In 1994, Winslow was honored as a Distinguished Woman by the New York Women’s Foundation. Two years later, she joined the advisory council of the New York City Department of Aging, and was reappointed to the committee in 2004 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Mills Winslow died of pneumonia on March 11, 2005. She was 88 years old.
This collection consists of personal and professional material related to both William Henry and Sadie Winslow. The material contains biograpical papers, such as resumes, personal correspondence, and obituaries; professional correspondence; documents, including printed matter and research material, related to the couple's involvement in various community and political affiliations; and in the case of Henry Winslow, some writing. The bulk of the collection relates to the couple’s community affiliations.