Black History Month http://blog.dol.gov/ en Equity for Black Artists in the Entertainment Industry http://blog.dol.gov/2024/03/13/equity-for-black-artists-in-the-entertainment-industry <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Equity for Black Artists in the Entertainment Industry</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p> </p><img src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/53558275711_ab93d0f6ca_c.jpg" data-entity-uuid="994f0ff3-77ce-4e4a-8beb-667b51abd86e" data-entity-type="file" alt="Acting Secretary Julie Su giving a speech at a podium with a sign that says &quot;making equity real&quot; in the background." width="794" class="align-center" height="533" loading="lazy" /><p>In celebration of this year’s national Black History Month theme, "African Americans and the Arts," the Department of Labor hosted an event titled "Making Equity Real: Creating Career Pathways and Good Jobs in the Arts." Through a series of live performances and a panel discussion hosted by Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su, we highlighted the contributions of Black artists and workers while addressing equity issues in the arts and entertainment industry.</p><p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UFq-e9vbro8?si=HJteEk-SjrxV3h1s" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p><p>Our panel featured a group of talented and diverse dancers, labor leaders, theater workers, actors, performers, senior officials from the Biden-Harris administration and elected officials. Each of these panelists discussed the importance of the arts and the integral role that unions play in achieving equity for Black workers, and other workers of color, in the arts and entertainment industry. </p><p>We were joined by Maria Rosario Jackson, Ph.D., Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), who gave opening remarks that detailed the work that NEA does to implement Executive Order 14084 Promoting the Arts, the Humanities, and Museum and Library Services. This executive order, signed by President Biden in September 2022, aims to unlock new opportunities, and ensure that artists and arts workers are trained and fairly compensated for their work. Jackson, who is the first African American and Mexican American woman to serve as NEA Chair, discussed her collaboration with union leaders to combat historical challenges faced by Black workers and marginalized communities. Through collaboration with HBCUs, minority serving institutions, and union partners, NEA is committed to setting industry standards for worker protections to ensure all artists and art workers thrive, including through prevailing wage requirements attached to all federal funding issued by the NEA. </p><p>Acting Secretary Su delivered a powerful speech, emphasizing the necessity of creating good jobs – jobs that allow people to live full lives to do the things that they love – particularly in the arts, for Black Americans and the economy and country. She brought attention to the challenges that Black workers face, the need for racial justice, and the importance of closing the racial wealth gap. Our event shined a light on just how crucial unions are to achieving equity for underserved communities. </p><p>The numbers are clear. The data shows us that unions help ensure more equitable outcomes for all workers, especially for Black workers. According to<a href="https://files.epi.org/uploads/270662.pdf"> a report issued by the Economic Policy Institute</a>, Black union members see a 14.6% increase in wages from being covered by collective bargaining agreements, which is above the 13.5% average wage increase for unionized workers overall. </p><p>Throughout the panel, speakers shared their personal experiences as Black artists and union members, discussing union benefits, mentorship and the transformative impact of art on their lives:</p><ul><li> Actor-performer Ezra Knight, who serves the SAG-AFTRA New York Local president, applauded recent contract wins that led to improved lighting for darker skin tones, and hair technicians skilled in working with diverse hair textures.</li><li> IATSE Local 22 member and Kennedy Center Production Shop Steward Frank Brown emphasized the role of unions in creating opportunities, offering training, providing health and pension benefits and ensuring fair pay for arts workers. </li><li>AGMA Dancers Vice President Antuan Byers and American Federation of Musicians Legislative-Political Director Alfonso Pollard discussed how mentorship within the arts is not limited to the art itself, but also encompasses teaching others about organizing and collective action to ensure fair pay and benefits.</li><li> Actor, director and playwright Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who serves at the Executive Board first vice president of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, discussed how education and exposure are fundamental to allow artists to know what opportunities and spaces exist and for institutions to know and value diversity on and behind the stage. </li><li>Congressman Maxwell Frost spoke to the importance of how designing talent pipelines that provide diverse artists to explore and develop their craft is key to training the next generation of arts workers. </li></ul><p>To close out the event, Calandra Hackney, assistant executive director for the Eastern Region at the Actors’ Equity Association shared how vital unions are in the fight for change, diversity, and equitable wages. She encouraged continued activism to amplify the voices of Black art professionals by demanding access to decision making positions and standing in solidarity with union colleagues in other industries. In closing, “Making Equity Real: Creating Career Pathways and Good Jobs in the Arts” celebrated the work of unions in supporting Black workers and underserved communities, showcased the leadership and advocacy of arts workers working toward lasting and sustainable improvements for all in the entertainment industry, and illustrated the need for continued partnership amongst all of us to ensure equitable career opportunities for all workers including artists. </p><p><em>Nicole Jackson Mansch is the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Chief Diversity and Equity Officer. Alaysia Black Hackett is the Chief Diversity and Equity Officer in the Office of the Secretary.</em></p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/gates.matthew.r%40dol.gov" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="Gates.Matthew.R@dol.gov">Gates.Matthew…</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden"><time datetime="2024-03-13T15:03:02-04:00" title="Wednesday, March 13, 2024 - 15:03" class="datetime">Wed, 03/13/2024 - 15:03</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-featured-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/53558275711_ab93d0f6ca_c.jpg" width="800" height="533" alt="Acting Secretary Julie Su giving a speech at a podium with a sign that says &quot;Making Equality Real&quot; in the background." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <a href="/taxonomy/term/4713" hreflang="en">Nicole Jackson Mansch</a>, <a href="/taxonomy/term/4530" hreflang="en">Alaysia Black Hackett</a> <div class="blog-tags"> <span>Tags:</span> <ul> <li><a href="/tag/equality" hreflang="en">equality</a></li> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/4645" hreflang="en">Acting Secretary Su</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/black-history-month" hreflang="en">Black History Month</a></li> </ul> </div> Wed, 13 Mar 2024 19:03:02 +0000 Gates.Matthew.R@dol.gov 4743 at http://blog.dol.gov http://blog.dol.gov/2024/03/13/equity-for-black-artists-in-the-entertainment-industry#comments Equity for Black Workers: Continuing the Fight http://blog.dol.gov/2024/02/29/equity-for-black-workers-continuing-the-fight <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Equity for Black Workers: Continuing the Fight</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-center"><img alt="A collage of historical photos featuring Black workers, some of whom are participating in protests for better working conditions, and Dr. Martin Luther King marching with other civil rights leaders." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="9bf00a44-fcc6-4c05-8cf7-e56e732db5a3" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/BHM%20Blog%20v3.png" width="794" height="550" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>A collage of historical images from the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the sanitation workers’ strike in Memphis in 1968 carrying signs that read “I AM A MAN,” the 1881 Atlanta Washerwomen Strike, and photos of the Pullman porters. Source: National Archives</figcaption></figure><p>When we think of Black Americans’ fight for equality, we often focus on the fight for voting rights and equal access to education and public accommodations. Often forgotten is how deeply intertwined the fight for civil rights and the fight for economic rights has been for Black Americans. The history-changing event we know as the March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, was actually called “The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom,” and was organized through an alliance of labor, civil rights and religious organizations. The leaders of the Civil Rights Movement clearly understood that obtaining political and civil freedoms without also securing economic opportunity would not end the oppression and inequality experienced by Black Americans.</p><p>Indeed, Black Americans have been at the forefront of fighting for labor rights and stronger workplace protections for all Americans. From enslaved blacksmiths and carpenters to the <a href="https://aflcio.org/about/history/labor-history-events/atlanta-washerwomen-strike">Atlanta washerwomen</a>, to the <a href="https://www.dol.gov/general/aboutdol/hallofhonor/1989_randolph">Pullman porters</a> and the <a href="https://www.dol.gov/general/aboutdol/hallofhonor/2011_memphis">Memphis sanitation workers</a> who took a stand to demand better wages and safer working conditions – and many others – we recognize the foundation they laid for good, safe jobs and social freedoms. The <a href="https://www.osha.gov">Occupational Safety and Health Administration</a> honors their perseverance and sacrifice to improve workplace safety and health.</p><p>Turning the page in history books to the present day: While we’ve made progress in workplace safety since then, there are still too many workers exposed to conditions as dangerous as those experienced by these Black labor leaders. In 2022, a worker died every 96 minutes from a work injury. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the share of fatalities among Black workers <a href="https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cfoi.nr0.htm">reached an all-time high at 13.4% in 2022</a>, increasing to 734 from 653 in 2021, with most of these fatalities occurring in the transportation industry or related to workplace violence. The disparity is especially clear in the fatality rates for major demographics: Black or African American workers had a <a href="https://www.bls.gov/iif/fatal-injuries-tables/fatal-occupational-injuries-hours-based-rates-2022.xlsx">fatality rate of 4.2 per 100,000 full-time workers</a>, compared to an average of 3.7 for all workers.</p><img src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/BlackWorkerFatalityRate2022.png" data-entity-uuid="7a0388e6-ee34-4b71-b1d8-8dd677ba25b2" data-entity-type="file" alt="Chart showing that the fatality rate for Black workers is 4.2 per 100,000 full-time workers in 2022. The rate for all workers was 3.7. It was 3.5 for white, non-Hispanic workers. Source: Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, BLS.gov" width="748" class="align-center" height="1536" loading="lazy" /><p>The rise in fatal injuries and illnesses links to <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2023/08/31/black-workers-views-and-experiences-in-the-us-labor-force-stand-out-in-key-ways/">racial disparities and social issues Black Americans face</a>. I recently travelled to Mississippi with Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su to listen to Black and immigrant workers about their workplace experiences. In the Mississippi Delta, one of the poorest areas of the country, we heard from Black workers who were regularly not paid for working time, suffered injuries and knew co-workers who were killed by workplace hazards, and saw colleagues fired for speaking out about hazards and for reporting injuries. It was a palpable example of how far some Americans have been left behind.</p><p>That is why we are expanding our efforts to increase enforcement of workplace protections for those disproportionately impacted by injuries and illnesses while on the job – including Black workers – in high-hazard industries like warehousing and food processing.</p><p>We are collaborating with stakeholders, unions and worker centers to empower workers and help us better understand how we can make resources more accessible. Additionally, we’re providing training support through our <a href="https://www.osha.gov/harwoodgrants">Susan Harwood Training Grants</a> to empower workers and help us better understand how we can make resources more accessible so that workers are equipped with the proper tools and training needed. With the right resources and support, workers can speak up about their right to a safe and healthy workplace and improve working conditions for themselves and their co-workers.</p><p>As we celebrate Black History Month, we know we must do more to create equity and safety for all workers. At the March on Washington, Dr. King said, “We have come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now.” More than a half-century later, his words remain true. It is time for us to act now to make sure workplace protections apply to all workers.</p><p><em>Doug Parker is the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. Follow OSHA on Twitter/X at </em><a href="https://www.twitter.com/OSHA_DOL"><em>@OSHA_DOL</em></a><em> and </em><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/us-department-of-labor-osha"><em>on LinkedIn</em></a><em>. </em></p><p> </p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/tkoebel" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="Koebel.Tiffany.L@dol.gov">Koebel.Tiffany…</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden"><time datetime="2024-02-29T10:54:37-05:00" title="Thursday, February 29, 2024 - 10:54" class="datetime">Thu, 02/29/2024 - 10:54</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-featured-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/BHM%20Blog%20v3.png" width="800" height="550" alt="A collage of historical photos featuring Black workers, some of whom are participating in protests for better working conditions, and Dr. Martin Luther King marching with other civil rights leaders." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <a href="/taxonomy/term/4295" hreflang="en">Doug Parker</a> <div class="blog-tags"> <span>Tags:</span> <ul> <li><a href="/tag/occupational-safety-and-health-administration-osha" hreflang="en">Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/black-history-month" hreflang="en">Black History Month</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/labor-history" hreflang="en">labor history</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/black-workers" hreflang="en">black workers</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/march-on-washington-for-jobs-and-freedom" hreflang="en">March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom</a></li> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/4093" hreflang="en">Equity</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/workplace-fatalities" hreflang="en">workplace fatalities</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/grants" hreflang="en">grants</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/workplace-hazards" hreflang="en">workplace hazards</a></li> </ul> </div> Thu, 29 Feb 2024 15:54:37 +0000 Koebel.Tiffany.L@dol.gov 4733 at http://blog.dol.gov Strengthening America at Home: Black Workers in WWII http://blog.dol.gov/2024/02/23/strengthening-america-at-home-black-workers-in-wwii <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Strengthening America at Home: Black Workers in WWII</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Black%20Scientist%20600%20x%20300.png" data-entity-uuid="347aa89b-3929-4820-be57-6a85473be612" data-entity-type="file" alt="A Black scientist in a white lab coat examines a test tube" width="324" class="align-right" height="300" loading="lazy" />My work and the work of my colleagues at the Wage and Hour Division is to protect vulnerable workers from violations of some of their most fundamental workplace rights, like minimum wage, overtime and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. </p><p>Every day, and especially as I reflect on Black History Month, I draw inspiration from the stories of leaders who helped to improve working conditions for Black workers. One such source of inspiration is the story of the Double V Campaign, which led to improved working conditions for Black workers at the Department of Defense. </p><p>During World War II, while the war effort was creating demand for many workers in the United States, long-held prejudices created barriers to employment for many Black workers.  </p><p>The <a href="https://www.census.gov/dataviz/visualizations/020/">Second Great Migration</a>, beginning in 1940, saw the number of Black workers in the defense industry triple. More than 1 million Black workers migrated to the North and West from the South, seeking industrial jobs from defense contractors where the average weekly wages were much higher.</p><p>Black workers made invaluable contributions to America’s war effort even as they faced ongoing discrimination in the workplace. For example, Black workers at Chicago’s Metallurgical Laboratory and at facilities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee provided crucial support to projects led by the renowned physicist Robert Oppenheimer that led to the development of the atomic bomb. At the Chicago “Met Lab,” Black scientists like <a href="https://ahf.nuclearmuseum.org/ahf/profile/j-ernest-wilkins-jr/">Ernest Wilkins, Jr.</a> and <a href="https://ahf.nuclearmuseum.org/ahf/profile/ralph-gardner-chavis/">Ralph Gardner-Chavis</a> were vital to the development of the <a href="https://www.osti.gov/opennet/manhattan-project-history/Places/MetLab/met-lab.html">separation of plutonium</a> that made the controlled nuclear reaction possible. Black workers also supported uranium enrichment research at the Oak Ridge lab. </p><p>Despite their importance to this work, Black workers faced all sorts of discrimination – from being relegated to menial jobs to being denied security clearances to receiving lower wages than their white colleagues. As the war effort generated millions of jobs, many in urban areas, Black job seekers faced violence and discrimination. Black leaders then met with Eleanor Roosevelt and members of President Franklin Roosevelt’s cabinet, presenting a list of grievances and demanding that discrimination in the defense industry cease. These Black workers’ contributions – and their demands – led to overdue but important change. President Roosevelt issued <a href="https://www.archives.gov/milestone-documents/executive-order-8802">Executive Order 8802</a> in June 1941. It stipulated, “There shall be no discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries and in Government, because of race, creed, color or national origin.” </p><p>While the order was groundbreaking, discriminatory practices persisted. In 1942, the <em>Pittsburgh Courier </em>(the largest Black newspaper in the U.S.) published a letter from James G. Thompson, a 26-year-old defense worker, that contrasted the war rhetoric with the treatment of Black workers in the industry. Thompson called for a “double V for victory” sign representing victory at home and abroad. Black workers embraced the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAPLbfnbKE4">Double V campaign</a>, marching in cities across the country and demanding improved working conditions for the millions of Black workers in defense plants. They also demanded an acknowledgement of the contributions and sacrifices of more than 1 million Black men and women serving in the Armed Forces.</p><p>Our nation has made progress over the decades, building on the work of these and other advocates to create more just and equitable workplaces. Yet the problems of racial discrimination and occupational segregation persist, creating barriers to entry in many industries and jobs for Black workers. The result is that, as one recent study found, 47% of Black workers work in low wage jobs where they earn less than $15 an hour. Low-wage workers are also more likely to suffer from wage theft, such as being deprived of overtime due to misclassification.    </p><p>Today, Black workers across the country continue to carry on the legacy of the Double V campaign by coming together to demand better working conditions. Last year, for example, due to the courageous collaboration of Black farmworkers and the partnership of the Mississippi Justice Center, we recovered $505,000 for Black farmworkers in the Mississippi Delta whose rights under the worker protections of the H-2A program had been violated. Earlier this month, Acting Secretary  Su visited our Wage and Hour Division District Office in Mississippi, and we again heard from Black workers who stood up to denounce the wage theft they experienced. </p><p>At the Wage and Hour Division, we know that Black workers deserve better. They deserve good jobs where they can trust that their wages won’t be stolen – and protection from retaliation when they do speak out against violations of their rights. We’re doing our part to help create good jobs and carry on the legacy of the Double V campaign by preventing and addressing wage theft for Black workers across the country.  </p><p><a href="https://www.dol.gov/general/equity-action-plan">Learn more about the Department of Labor’s ongoing efforts to support equity at work.</a></p><p><em>Frank McGriggs is the Southeast deputy regional administrator for the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division. Follow the division on X at </em><a href="https://www.twitter.com/whd_dol"><em>@WHD_DOL</em></a><em> and on </em><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/dolwhd?trk=affiliated-pages"><em>LinkedIn</em></a><em>. </em>  </p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/lmcginnis" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="McGinnis.Laura.K@dol.gov">McGinnis.Laura…</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden"><time datetime="2024-02-23T10:47:12-05:00" title="Friday, February 23, 2024 - 10:47" class="datetime">Fri, 02/23/2024 - 10:47</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-featured-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/Black%20Scientist%20800%20x%20550.png" width="800" height="550" alt="A black scientist in a white lab coat examines a test tube." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <a href="/taxonomy/term/4709" hreflang="en">Frank McGriggs</a> <div class="blog-tags"> <span>Tags:</span> <ul> <li><a href="/tag/wage-and-hour-division-whd" hreflang="en">Wage and Hour Division (WHD)</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/black-history-month" hreflang="en">Black History Month</a></li> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/4093" hreflang="en">Equity</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/enforcement" hreflang="en">enforcement</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/wage-enforcement" hreflang="en">wage enforcement</a></li> </ul> </div> Fri, 23 Feb 2024 15:47:12 +0000 McGinnis.Laura.K@dol.gov 4731 at http://blog.dol.gov Black Miners and the Battle of Blair Mountain http://blog.dol.gov/2024/02/22/black-miners-and-the-battle-of-blair-mountain <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Black Miners and the Battle of Blair Mountain</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-center"><img alt="Five miners stand or sit on equipment at the entrance of a coal mine. The man in the middle is Black and the other four are white." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="4de86d1c-be30-4429-8e35-af5afddb8396" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Laura%20Mine%20in%20Red%20Star%20WV%20-%20LOC%20photo%20by%20Lewis%20Hine.png" width="1219" height="742" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Miners in front of the Laura Mine in Red Star, West Virginia. <a href="https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/the-march-on-logan-county.htm">Source</a>: Lewis Hine, Library of Congress</figcaption></figure><p>Since 1863, when my home state of West Virginia was born, coal mining has been central to its history, culture and economy. Often overlooked, however, are the contributions made by Black workers who also ventured down into the mines. During and after the Civil War, Black workers migrated north to West Virginia in search of opportunity, and discovered it burrowed deep beneath the Appalachian mountaintops. Booker T. Washington was among them, following his stepfather after the war to West Virginia where he found himself laboring as a coal miner at just 10 years old, a time he described as "<a href="https://www.tuskegee.edu/discover-tu/tu-presidents/booker-t-washington">the unpleasant coal mine experience</a>.”</p><p>The Washington family was at the vanguard of Black workers who migrated to the state. In 1870, 17,980 Black people lived there. By 1920, the number had grown to 86,345. Across the nation, about 8% of coal miners were Black in 1920. In West Virginia, they made up almost 20% of the industry’s workforce, the highest percentage in America.</p><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-right"><img alt="A group of both Black and white miners wearing early headlamps." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="087ae124-332b-475a-9e34-6780e87842f2" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/CoalMiners_NPS_1.png" width="285" height="361" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Coal miners at New River Gorge, West Virginia. <a href=" National Park Service ">Source</a>: National Park Service</figcaption></figure><p>The early 1900s were a time of drastic change for West Virginia’s coal miners. Mine companies expected workers to do dangerous, sometimes deadly work, and in return paid poor wages and housed workers and their families in dilapidated and unsafe shacks. In many coal towns, <a href="https://www.nps.gov/neri/planyourvisit/african-american-life-in-a-coal-camp-nuttallburg.htm">Black miners and their families faced segregation from their co-workers</a>, living in different neighborhoods, and attending separate churches and schools as their white co-workers.</p><p>Weary of facing death each day and barely surviving, many coal miners began to organize and hoped joining the United Mine Workers of America would better their working conditions and lives. Founded in 1890, the UMWA began as an integrated union and <a href="https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=166298">Richard L. Davis</a>, a Black Ohio coal miner, was welcome to attend the first UMWA convention. In fact, Davis would later serve for several years as a member of the union’s national executive committee.</p><p>As miners sought to join the UMWA, company owners who operated mines in West Virginia that were then all non-union, often relied on hired guards, including private detective agencies, to root out organizers and stop efforts to unionize – sometimes by force.</p><p>In 1920, after 3,000 miners in Mingo County voted to join the UMWA, mine owners fired them and evicted them from their company-owned homes. Tensions between mine owners and workers eventually turned violent.</p><p>The so-called “Mine Wars” between company mine guards and workers spread, sparking ugly, and sometimes deadly, confrontations in mining towns – like Matewan in my home county, often referred to as “Bloody Mingo” – and across America. Among the largest was the “Battle of Blair Mountain” in West Virginia’s Logan County.</p><p>It was there, <a href="https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/the-battle-of-blair-mountain.htm">on the morning of Aug. 31, 1921</a>, when a group of five miners on patrol encountered three deputy sheriffs. A standoff quickly became a raging gun battle during which Black miner Eli Kemp was shot and killed, the first of many miners – Black and white – who died on Blair Mountain trying to organize and support other miners. Black miners like Kemp weren’t just rank-and-file members in the battle. They were also leaders like Charlie “Popcorn” Gordon and “Red” Thompson who inspired other Black miners to stand tall. Thompson was notable for leading a group of 75 miners up the mountain and into battle.</p><p>In late August 1921, about 10,000 miners fought during a week-long confrontation against a private army of almost 3,000 mine guards, deputies and National Guardsmen organized by company owners. By its end, an unknown number were killed but some estimate as many as 100.</p><p>Blair Mountain was different than other battles in the Mine Wars, such as 1899’s Pana Riot in Illinois where mine owners brought in Black miners to break a strike organized by white miners. After several weeks, the fight between the two sides left five Black miners dead. However, white and Black miners stood side-by-side at Blair Mountain in their fight to unionize the southern West Virginia coalfields. Some estimate that as many as 2,000 Black miners fought for the cause.</p><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-center"><img alt="Soldiers clustered around stopped trains, many eating or drinking. Wagons with supplies can be seen on flat train cars in the background." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f31083e8-73e4-4189-8dc8-920830bd03c5" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Blair-camped-at-blair-wv.jpg" width="740" height="768" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Federal troops arriving in West Virginia to stop the fighting in Blair Mountain. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Blair_Mountain#/media/File:Blair-camped-at-blair-wv.jpg">Source</a>: Kinograms via Wikicommons</figcaption></figure><p>More than 100 years later, the names of Eli Kemp, Charlie Gordon and Red Thompson are rarely spoken and hardly known; their names among so many Black miners at Blair Mountain lost to history. As the nation observes Black History Month in 2024, we must remember these miners and the debt we owe them. Their sacrifices to raise their voices and inspire other workers to demand better wages, safe and healthy working conditions, and other workers’ rights and protections – that some take for granted – should be lifted up and recognized, and never forgotten.</p><p><em style="-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);box-sizing:inherit;color:rgb(33, 37, 41);font-family:&quot;Source Sans Pro Web&quot;, &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;, Helvetica, Roboto, Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14.88px;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;orphans:2;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;">Chris Williamson is the assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. <span style="background-color:white;box-sizing:inherit;color:rgb(33, 37, 41);">Follow MSHA on </span></em><a style="-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);box-sizing:inherit;color:rgb(0, 113, 188);font-family:&quot;Source Sans Pro Web&quot;, &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;, Helvetica, Roboto, Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14.88px;font-style:normal;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;orphans:2;text-align:start;text-decoration:none;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;" href="https://www.twitter.com/MSHA_DOL" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em style="box-sizing:inherit;"><span style="background-color:white;box-sizing:inherit;color:rgb(0, 113, 188);text-decoration:none;">Twitter</span></em></a><em style="-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);box-sizing:inherit;color:rgb(33, 37, 41);font-family:&quot;Source Sans Pro Web&quot;, &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;, Helvetica, Roboto, Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14.88px;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;orphans:2;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;"><span style="background-color:white;box-sizing:inherit;color:rgb(33, 37, 41);"> and </span></em><a style="-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);box-sizing:inherit;color:rgb(0, 113, 188);font-family:&quot;Source Sans Pro Web&quot;, &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;, Helvetica, Roboto, Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14.88px;font-style:normal;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;orphans:2;text-align:start;text-decoration:none;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;" href="https://www.facebook.com/MineSafetyAndHealth" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em style="box-sizing:inherit;"><span style="background-color:white;box-sizing:inherit;color:rgb(0, 113, 188);text-decoration:none;">Facebook</span></em></a><em style="-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);box-sizing:inherit;color:rgb(33, 37, 41);font-family:&quot;Source Sans Pro Web&quot;, &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;, Helvetica, Roboto, Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14.88px;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;orphans:2;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;"><span style="background-color:white;box-sizing:inherit;color:rgb(33, 37, 41);">.</span></em></p><p> </p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/tkoebel" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="Koebel.Tiffany.L@dol.gov">Koebel.Tiffany…</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden"><time datetime="2024-02-22T12:37:54-05:00" title="Thursday, February 22, 2024 - 12:37" class="datetime">Thu, 02/22/2024 - 12:37</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-featured-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/LauraMine-LibraryOfCongress-800.png" width="800" height="549" alt="Five miners stand or sit on equipment at the entrance of a coal mine. The man in the middle is Black and the other four are white. Library of Congress photo." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <a href="/taxonomy/term/4392" hreflang="en">Chris Williamson</a> <div class="blog-tags"> <span>Tags:</span> <ul> <li><a href="/tag/mine-safety-health-administration-msha" hreflang="en">Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/black-history-month" hreflang="en">Black History Month</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/history" hreflang="en">History</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/history-of-work" hreflang="en">history of work</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/black-workers" hreflang="en">black workers</a></li> </ul> </div> Thu, 22 Feb 2024 17:37:54 +0000 Koebel.Tiffany.L@dol.gov 4730 at http://blog.dol.gov http://blog.dol.gov/2024/02/22/black-miners-and-the-battle-of-blair-mountain#comments Black History Month: Lifelong Perspectives http://blog.dol.gov/2024/02/21/black-history-month-lifelong-perspectives <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Black History Month: Lifelong Perspectives </span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);clear:both;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);cursor:text;direction:ltr;font-family:&quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe UI Web&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;margin:0px;orphans:2;overflow:visible;padding:0px;position:relative;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;user-select:text;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;"><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-center"><img alt="A black woman named Tonya Brown smiling." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f76cd28d-4034-45f2-8700-9a70d17915b8" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Tonya%20Brown%20Blog%20Twitter.png" width="606" height="418" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Tonya Brown</figcaption></figure><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="1896605484" paraeid="{b92a58ce-a3c4-49b6-8929-67ae00700e24}{225}"> </p><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="1896605484" paraeid="{b92a58ce-a3c4-49b6-8929-67ae00700e24}{225}">Growing up, I was usually one of only a few African American students in my class, and during Black History Month each February, I felt a great sense of pride as we learned about the achievements of people who looked like me.  </p></div><div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);clear:both;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);cursor:text;direction:ltr;font-family:&quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe UI Web&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;margin:0px;orphans:2;overflow:visible;padding:0px;position:relative;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;user-select:text;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;"><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="985483057" paraeid="{0aa0d228-0624-4d93-9b42-a67e2b05a7c2}{12}"> </p></div><div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);clear:both;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);cursor:text;direction:ltr;font-family:&quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe UI Web&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;margin:0px;orphans:2;overflow:visible;padding:0px;position:relative;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;user-select:text;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;"><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="1359158941" paraeid="{0aa0d228-0624-4d93-9b42-a67e2b05a7c2}{16}">I recall my mom taking me to the library to check out books related to black history, and my musician father exposing me to Black music legends, sharing his personal insight about their impact on American culture. My father was a member of The Dramatics, a national recording Soul R&amp;B group that toured with icons such as James Brown and appeared on iconic TV shows American Bandstand and Soul Train several times. </p></div><div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);clear:both;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);cursor:text;direction:ltr;font-family:&quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe UI Web&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;margin:0px;orphans:2;overflow:visible;padding:0px;position:relative;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;user-select:text;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;"><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="1538492816" paraeid="{0aa0d228-0624-4d93-9b42-a67e2b05a7c2}{74}"> </p></div><div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);clear:both;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);cursor:text;direction:ltr;font-family:&quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe UI Web&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;margin:0px;orphans:2;overflow:visible;padding:0px;position:relative;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;user-select:text;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;"><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="1148499857" paraeid="{0aa0d228-0624-4d93-9b42-a67e2b05a7c2}{78}">One year in school, I wrote an essay about Rosa Parks and her impact on the civil rights movement. When I told my grandmother about it, she shared that Rosa and I were related by marriage; Rosa’s husband, Raymond Parks, was our cousin!    </p></div><div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);clear:both;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);cursor:text;direction:ltr;font-family:&quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe UI Web&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;margin:0px;orphans:2;overflow:visible;padding:0px;position:relative;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;user-select:text;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;"><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="1911937875" paraeid="{0aa0d228-0624-4d93-9b42-a67e2b05a7c2}{106}"> </p></div><div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);clear:both;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);cursor:text;direction:ltr;font-family:&quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe UI Web&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;margin:0px;orphans:2;overflow:visible;padding:0px;position:relative;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;user-select:text;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;"><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="1117420998" paraeid="{0aa0d228-0624-4d93-9b42-a67e2b05a7c2}{110}">My grandmother arranged for me to meet Rosa at her home in Detroit, a meeting that has continued to influence me ever since. She was small of stature, but her presence filled the room. Her determination was an inspiration. I asked her if she had felt scared that December day on the bus in Montgomery and she said no. It wasn’t fear she had felt; it was resolve, because: “It was time.” What I have held dearest about Rosa over the years is not only the words she spoke, but even more so, the feelings she evoked. Rosa had a quiet strength that extended to others.   </p></div><div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);clear:both;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);cursor:text;direction:ltr;font-family:&quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe UI Web&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;margin:0px;orphans:2;overflow:visible;padding:0px;position:relative;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;user-select:text;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;"><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="940193938" paraeid="{0aa0d228-0624-4d93-9b42-a67e2b05a7c2}{186}"> </p></div><div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);clear:both;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);cursor:text;direction:ltr;font-family:&quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe UI Web&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;margin:0px;orphans:2;overflow:visible;padding:0px;position:relative;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;user-select:text;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;"><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="1884521397" paraeid="{89373a5f-d300-4792-88c3-697722ebca22}{238}">Meeting Rosa was one of the greatest honors of my life. I now realize that the experience of seeing her in person—and truly understanding how one small voice can change a society—along with other early experiences, laid the foundation for the work I do today. They taught me the power of tenacity in advocating for change, something I’m proud to do every day as a senior communications and outreach advisor in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). At ODEP, we work to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities, including those with intersectional identities.  </p></div><div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);clear:both;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);cursor:text;direction:ltr;font-family:&quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe UI Web&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;margin:0px;orphans:2;overflow:visible;padding:0px;position:relative;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;user-select:text;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;"><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="2008569762" paraeid="{c3ac313c-11a7-4257-9eec-33b9d2760600}{85}"> </p></div><div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);clear:both;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);cursor:text;direction:ltr;font-family:&quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe UI Web&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;margin:0px;orphans:2;overflow:visible;padding:0px;position:relative;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;user-select:text;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;"><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="1532671823" paraeid="{c3ac313c-11a7-4257-9eec-33b9d2760600}{89}">I am one of those people. I have a nonapparent disability. I wasn’t always open about acknowledging this at work, however, because I feared people might make erroneous assumptions about what I could and could not do. But today I am fortunate to work in an inclusive environment, one where I can ask for the accommodations I need to perform my best, without fear of stigma or discrimination.</p></div><div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);clear:both;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);cursor:text;direction:ltr;font-family:&quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe UI Web&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;margin:0px;orphans:2;overflow:visible;padding:0px;position:relative;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;user-select:text;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;"><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="1498569295" paraeid="{c3ac313c-11a7-4257-9eec-33b9d2760600}{149}"> </p></div><div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);clear:both;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);cursor:text;direction:ltr;font-family:&quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe UI Web&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;margin:0px;orphans:2;overflow:visible;padding:0px;position:relative;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;user-select:text;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;"><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="1850686967" paraeid="{c3ac313c-11a7-4257-9eec-33b9d2760600}{153}">I now understand that, like my cultural heritage, my disability is an important part of who I am. So, I’m grateful to the many leaders, from all backgrounds, who paved the way for me to feel safe and protected at work and valued for the many perspectives I bring to the table. Given my particular journey, during Black History Month I pay special homage to a number of leaders making history today—such as Haben Girma, Andraéa LaVant and others—who are shining a light on the intersection between race and disability.  </p></div><div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);clear:both;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);cursor:text;direction:ltr;font-family:&quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe UI Web&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;margin:0px;orphans:2;overflow:visible;padding:0px;position:relative;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;user-select:text;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;"><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="17652777" paraeid="{c3ac313c-11a7-4257-9eec-33b9d2760600}{225}"> </p></div><div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);clear:both;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);cursor:text;direction:ltr;font-family:&quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe UI Web&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant-caps:normal;font-variant-ligatures:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;margin:0px;orphans:2;overflow:visible;padding:0px;position:relative;text-align:start;text-decoration-color:initial;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-thickness:initial;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;user-select:text;white-space:normal;widows:2;word-spacing:0px;"><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="32486084" paraeid="{c3ac313c-11a7-4257-9eec-33b9d2760600}{229}">In the years to come, I hope America’s youth will learn about these and many other trailblazers during Black History Month, and hopefully every month. For Black youth with disabilities, I am confident the effect will be especially powerful, as they learn about people who look like them, on multiple levels. For my part, I will continue to draw on the courage and strength of those who came before me to fuel my work at ODEP.  </p><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="32486084" paraeid="{c3ac313c-11a7-4257-9eec-33b9d2760600}{229}"> </p><p class="Paragraph SCXW76295272 BCX8" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color:transparent;-webkit-user-drag:none;background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-kerning:none;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;margin:0px;overflow-wrap:break-word;padding:0px;text-align:left;text-indent:0px;user-select:text;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;" paraid="32486084" paraeid="{c3ac313c-11a7-4257-9eec-33b9d2760600}{229}"><em>Tonya Brown is a Senior Communications &amp; Outreach Advisor in the department's Office of Disability Employment Policy.</em></p></div></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/gates.matthew.r%40dol.gov" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="Gates.Matthew.R@dol.gov">Gates.Matthew…</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden"><time datetime="2024-02-21T16:22:09-05:00" title="Wednesday, February 21, 2024 - 16:22" class="datetime">Wed, 02/21/2024 - 16:22</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-featured-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/Tonya%20Brown%20Blog%20Twitter.png" width="800" height="418" alt="A black woman named Tonya Brown smiling" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <a href="/taxonomy/term/4708" hreflang="en">Tonya Brown</a> <div class="blog-tags"> <span>Tags:</span> <ul> <li><a href="/tag/office-of-disability-employment-policy-odep" hreflang="en">Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/black-history-month" hreflang="en">Black History Month</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/disability-employment" hreflang="en">Disability Employment</a></li> </ul> </div> Wed, 21 Feb 2024 21:22:09 +0000 Gates.Matthew.R@dol.gov 4727 at http://blog.dol.gov 8 Black Women Labor Leaders You Should Know http://blog.dol.gov/2024/01/17/8-black-women-labor-leaders-you-should-know <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">8 Black Women Labor Leaders You Should Know </span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><h4><a href="#espanol"><strong>En español</strong></a></h4><p>Black women have been on the forefront of the fight for labor rights for decades, helping improve conditions for all of America’s workers. Historically excluded from many good jobs, they’ve performed much of the essential but difficult work underpinning our economy without the protections afforded to other workers. For example, the Social Security Act of 1935 <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v70n4/v70n4p49.html">initially excluded domestic workers</a> — the majority of whom were Black women.</p><p>While there are countless women who have organized and advocated for better working conditions, here are a few you should know.</p><h3>Dorothy Bolden</h3><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="President Carter shakes Dorothy Bolden's hand and hands her a large piece of paper. Two other Black women look on in the background." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="1456a2cb-5a11-4c2a-833e-318458082c9b" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Carter-presents-Maids-Honor-Day-proclamation-to-Bolden-1970-GSU-Library.png" width="631" height="718" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>President Carter presents a Maids Day Proclamation to Dorothy Bolden in 1970. <a href="https://exhibits.library.gsu.edu/bridging-communities/stronger-together/national-domestic-workers/">Source</a>: Georgia State University.</figcaption></figure><p>Dorothy Bolden began helping her mother with domestic work at age 9. She was proud of her work but also knew how grueling it could be, and wanted domestic workers to be seen and respected as part of the labor force. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., her next-door neighbor, encouraged her to take action. In 1968 she founded the National Domestic Workers Union, helping organize these workers on a scale never seen before in the U.S. The union taught workers how to bargain for higher wages, vacation time and more. She also required that all members register to vote, helping give workers’ both a stronger voice on the job and in Georgia policy.</p><h3>Nannie Helen Burroughs</h3><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="Nannie Helen Burroughs sits with four other Black women in Victorian dress on the steps to the front porch of a building." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="9d7c25f5-0640-456f-9c1f-b908d4fe02c8" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/NannieHelenBurroughs-LOC.png" width="633" height="819" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Nannie Helen Burroughs (center) and other women at the National Training School in Washington, D.C. <a href="https://lccn.loc.gov/2005692696">Source</a>: Library of Congress.</figcaption></figure><p>Nannie Helen Burroughs was a suffragist, educator and organizer, as well as a mentor to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who worked to integrate labor reform into the movement for voting rights. She launched the National Association of Wage Earners in 1921, a labor union for Black domestic workers. Burroughs also established the <a href="https://www.nps.gov/places/national-training-school-for-women-and-girls.htm">National Trade School for Women and Girls</a> to combat labor exploitation through education, helping improve working conditions and expand career pathways for Black women.</p><h3>Melnea Cass</h3><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="A man hands a diploma to Melnea Cass, while they shake hands. They are both wearing graduation robes and caps.." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="aec78970-0703-48f6-bb0c-675036772fa4" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/MelneaCass-NortheasternUniversityLibraries.jpg" width="580" height="683" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Melnea Cass receives an honorary degree at Northeastern University's 1969 commencement. Source: Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department.</figcaption></figure><p>Known as the “<a href="https://www.nps.gov/people/dr-melnea-agnes-jones-cass.htm">First Lady of Roxbury</a>,” community organizer and activist Melnea Cass helped provide social services, professional training and labor rights education that empowered Boston’s most vulnerable workers. One of many examples is a program she co-created that provided childcare for working mothers. Her advocacy also helped achieve a major legislative victory: In 1970, Massachusetts passed the nation’s first state-level minimum wage protections for domestic workers since the Great Depression.</p><h3>Clara Day</h3><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="Black and white headshot of Clara Day. She has short, curly hair." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="b1cfc6aa-4a71-4945-8491-1b0e732662f1" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/ClaraDay-Teamsters.png" width="337" height="431" loading="lazy" /><figcaption><a href="https://teamster.org/2017/03/teamster-women-history-clara-day/">Source</a>: Teamsters</figcaption></figure><p>As one of 11 children – including three sets of twins – Clara Day took naturally to collective action and coalition building. As an information clerk at Montgomery Wards, she resented the segregation of white and black employees, which led her to push for change. Clara Day first began organizing co-workers at Montgomery Ward in 1953 and went on to hold several roles in the Teamsters Local 743. She also helped found the Coalition of Labor Union Women and the Teamsters National Black Caucus. A passionate advocate for labor, civil and women’s rights, she helped bring attention to issues like pay equity and sexual harassment.</p><h3>Anna Arnold Hedgeman</h3><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins and Anna Arnold Hedgeman sit at a table with a map spread out showing the planned route for the March on Washington. " data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f9d55ea1-4910-46f0-b1ce-c42c78944603" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/AnnaArnoldHedgeman-LOC.jpg" width="591" height="1343" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>From left: A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins and Anna Arnold Hedgeman plan the route for the March on Washington. <a href="https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2003671266/">Source</a>: New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection (Library of Congress).</figcaption></figure><p>A civil rights activist, educator and writer who helped organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Anna Arnold Hedgeman was a lifelong advocate for equal opportunity and employment. She persuaded the organizers to include economic issues in the demonstration (the “Jobs” part) in addition to civil rights. The only woman on the event's administrative committee, she also fought to ensure women were included women in the day’s program.</p><h3>Dora Lee Jones</h3><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="Black and white photograph showing two Black women and one man wearing coats and hats lean against a wall, waiting for employment. A movie poster behind them reads &quot;Make a Wish.&quot;" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="87ab1417-00b0-473d-9d25-dbf94a90b179" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/SAAM-1993.72.1_1.jpg" width="604" height="2323" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>The women in this photo are domestic workers hoping to be hired for a day’s work, as captured by Robert McNeill for Fortune magazine. <a href="https://americanart.si.edu/artwork/make-wish-bronx-slave-market-170th-street-new-york-34041">Source</a>: Robert McNeill, Make A Wish (Bronx Slave Market, 170th Street, New York), 1938, Smithsonian American Art Museum.</figcaption></figure><p>Dora Lee Jones helped found the Domestic Workers Union in Harlem in 1934 in defiance of New York City’s “slave markets,” as they were known. With few employment options during the Depression, Black women would gather daily in the morning at certain locations and wait for white middle-class women to hire them, typically for terrible wages. The union called for a minimum wage, overtime, two weeks’ notice for termination – and no window washing. (Workers were regularly asked to perform the dangerous task of cleaning the outside of upper-floor apartment windows.) The DWU eventually affiliated with the predecessor to today’s Service Employees International Union.</p><h3>Maida Springer Kemp</h3><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="Black and white headshot of Maida Springer Kemp. Her hair is pulled back and she is wearing a white blouse and dark jacket." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="337b4545-b66d-4d9d-b347-e912eef44598" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/MaidaSpringerKemp-KheelCenter.jpg" width="428" height="620" loading="lazy" /><figcaption><a href="https://kheelcenter.tumblr.com/post/138612056880/maida-springer-kemp">Source</a>: ILGWU Photographs #5780, P. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.</figcaption></figure><p>Maida Springer Kemp worked as a labor organizer in the garment industry and became the first Black woman to represent the U.S. labor movement overseas in 1945 when she visited post-war Britain on a labor exchange trip. She went on to spend many years liaising between American and African labor leaders as a member of the AFL-CIO, affectionately known as “Mama Maida” for her work. Throughout her life she advocated for civil rights and women’s rights in America and internationally.</p><h3>Rosina Corrothers Tucker</h3><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="Black and white photo of Rosina Tucker standing with A. Philip Randolph and Helena Wilson. All are dressed formally, with a medal pinned to their jackets." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="7a7a5bab-9c3a-4cda-b489-96971a6de2af" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/RosinaTucker-OaklandPublicLibrary.jpg" width="628" height="573" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Rosina Tucker (right) with Helena Wilson and A. Phillip Randolph. <a href="https://historicsites.dcpreservation.org/items/show/972#&amp;gid=1&amp;pid=2">Source</a>: Dellums (Cottrell Laurence) Papers, African American Museum and Library, Oakland Public Library, California.</figcaption></figure><p>Rosina Corrothers Tucker helped establish the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters — the nation’s first predominantly Black labor union — and its International Ladies’ Auxiliary Order. The BSCP became the first Black union recognized by the AFL-CIO in 1935. She also organized workers in the laundry trades and domestic service industries, fought for racial and economic justice as part of the March on Washington movement, and lobbied Congress for labor and education reforms.</p><p>These leaders improved working conditions, wages and rights for America’s workers, often at great personal cost. We honor them by continuing the fight for a fair and just workplace for all.</p><p><em><strong>Editor’s note</strong>: Want to learn more? Read about these labor leaders and pioneers: </em><a href="https://blog.dol.gov/2022/02/01/black-workplace-pioneers"><em>Mary McLeod Bethune</em></a><em>, </em><a href="https://blog.dol.gov/2023/02/13/5-women-to-celebrate-this-galentines-day"><em>Hattie Canty</em></a><em>, </em><a href="https://blog.dol.gov/2022/02/14/honoring-the-contributions-of-black-leaders-with-disabilities"><em>Fannie Lou Hamer</em></a><em>, </em><a href="https://blog.dol.gov/2023/02/13/5-women-to-celebrate-this-galentines-day"><em>Dorothy Height</em></a><em>, </em><a href="https://blog.dol.gov/2023/02/13/5-women-to-celebrate-this-galentines-day"><em>Maggie Lena Walker</em></a><em> and </em><a href="https://blog.dol.gov/2023/03/02/11-quotes-from-women-labor-leaders"><em>Addie Wyatt</em></a><em>.</em></p><p> </p><hr /><p> </p><h2><a class="”ck-anchor”">8 mujeres líderes de color que lucharon por los derechos laborales y que deberías conocer</a></h2><p> </p><p>Las mujeres de color han estado al frente de la lucha por los derechos laborales durante décadas y han contribuido a mejorar las condiciones de todos los trabajadores de Estados Unidos. Si bien históricamente se las ha excluido de muchos buenos empleos, han realizado gran parte del trabajo imprescindible, y a la vez difícil, que sustenta nuestra economía sin las protecciones que se conceden a otros trabajadores. Por ejemplo, la Ley de Seguridad Social de 1935 <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v70n4/v70n4p49.html">excluía inicialmente a los empleados domésticos</a>, que en su mayoría eran mujeres de color.</p><p>Aunque hay una infinidad de mujeres que se han organizado y han abogado por mejores condiciones laborales, aquí se mencionan algunas que deberías conocer.</p><h3>Dorothy Bolden</h3><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="President Carter shakes Dorothy Bolden's hand and hands her a large piece of paper. Two other Black women look on in the background." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="1456a2cb-5a11-4c2a-833e-318458082c9b" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Carter-presents-Maids-Honor-Day-proclamation-to-Bolden-1970-GSU-Library.png" width="631" height="718" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>El Presidente Carter le entrega una Proclamación del Día de la Empleada Doméstica a Dorothy Bolden en 1970. <a href="https://exhibits.library.gsu.edu/bridging-communities/stronger-together/national-domestic-workers/">Fuente</a>: Universidad Estatal de Georgia.</figcaption></figure><p>Dorothy Bolden empezó a ayudar a su madre en las tareas domésticas a los 9 años. Estaba orgullosa de su trabajo, pero también sabía lo agotador que podía ser, y quería que los empleados domésticos fueran vistos y respetados como parte de la mano de obra. El Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., su vecino de al lado, la animó a intervenir. En 1968, fundó el Sindicato Nacional de Empleados Domésticos, que ayudó a organizar a estos trabajadores a una escala sin precedentes en los Estados Unidos. El sindicato les enseñó a los trabajadores a negociar salarios más altos, vacaciones y mucho más. Dorothy también exigió que todos los afiliados se inscribieran para votar, lo que contribuyó a que los trabajadores fueran más escuchados en el trabajo y en la política de Georgia.</p><h3>Nannie Helen Burroughs</h3><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="Nannie Helen Burroughs sits with four other Black women in Victorian dress on the steps to the front porch of a building." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="9d7c25f5-0640-456f-9c1f-b908d4fe02c8" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/NannieHelenBurroughs-LOC.png" width="633" height="819" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Nannie Helen Burroughs (en el centro) y otras mujeres en la Escuela Nacional de Formación de Washington, D.C. <a href="https://lccn.loc.gov/2005692696">Fuente</a>: Biblioteca del Congreso.</figcaption></figure><p>Nannie Helen Burroughs fue sufragista, docente y organizadora, así como mentora del reverendo Martin Luther King Jr., que trabajó para integrar la reforma laboral en el movimiento por el derecho al voto. En 1921, fundó la Asociación Nacional de Asalariados, un sindicato de empleados domésticos de color. Burroughs también creó la <a href="https://www.nps.gov/places/national-training-school-for-women-and-girls.htm">Escuela Nacional de Comercio para Mujeres y Niñas</a> para combatir la explotación laboral a través de la educación, lo que ayudó a mejorar las condiciones de trabajo y a ampliar las salidas profesionales de las mujeres de color.</p><h3>Melnea Cass</h3><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="A man hands a diploma to Melnea Cass, while they shake hands. They are both wearing graduation robes and caps.." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="aec78970-0703-48f6-bb0c-675036772fa4" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/MelneaCass-NortheasternUniversityLibraries.jpg" width="580" height="683" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Melnea Cass recibe un título honorífico en la ceremonia de graduación de 1969 de Northeastern University. Fuente: Departamento de Archivos y Colecciones Especiales de la Biblioteca de Northeastern University.</figcaption></figure><p>Melnea Cass conocida como la “<a href="https://www.nps.gov/people/dr-melnea-agnes-jones-cass.htm">primera dama de Roxbury</a>”, fue una organizadora comunitaria y activista que ayudó a proporcionar servicios sociales, formación profesional y educación en derechos laborales que empoderaron a los trabajadores más vulnerables de Boston. Uno de los muchos ejemplos es un programa que creó en colaboración con otros que ofrecía servicios de guardería a madres trabajadoras. Su activismo también contribuyó a lograr una importante victoria legislativa: en 1970, se aprobó en Massachusetts la primera ley estatal de protección del salario mínimo para los empleados domésticos desde la Gran Depresión.</p><h3>Clara Day</h3><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="Black and white headshot of Clara Day. She has short, curly hair." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="b1cfc6aa-4a71-4945-8491-1b0e732662f1" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/ClaraDay-Teamsters.png" width="337" height="431" loading="lazy" /><figcaption><a href="https://teamster.org/2017/03/teamster-women-history-clara-day/">Fuente</a>: Teamsters</figcaption></figure><p>Clara Day, que tenía 10 hermanos (entre ellos, tres pares de gemelos), era naturalmente partidaria de la acción colectiva y la formación de coaliciones. Como empleada administrativa de Montgomery Wards, le molestaba la segregación de empleados blancos y negros, lo que la llevó a luchar por un cambio. Comenzó a organizar a sus compañeros de trabajo de Montgomery Ward en 1953 y posteriormente desempeñó varios cargos en el sindicato Teamsters Local 743. También ayudó a fundar Coalition of Labor Union Women y Teamsters National Black Caucus. Apasionada defensora de los derechos laborales, civiles y de la mujer, contribuyó a atraer la atención a cuestiones como la igualdad salarial y el acoso sexual.</p><h3>Anna Arnold Hedgeman</h3><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins and Anna Arnold Hedgeman sit at a table with a map spread out showing the planned route for the March on Washington." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f9d55ea1-4910-46f0-b1ce-c42c78944603" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/AnnaArnoldHedgeman-LOC.jpg" width="591" height="1343" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>De izquierda a derecha: A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins y Anna Arnold Hedgeman planifican la ruta de la marcha en Washington. <a href="https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2003671266/">Fuente</a>: Colección de fotografías de prensa de New York World-Telegram y The Sun (Biblioteca del Congreso).</figcaption></figure><p>Anna Arnold Hedgeman, activista de los derechos civiles, docente y escritora que ayudó a organizar la marcha en Washington por el trabajo y la libertad, fue una defensora de la igualdad de oportunidades y de empleo durante toda su vida. Convenció a los organizadores para que incluyeran en la manifestación los problemas económicos (la parte del “trabajo”), además de los derechos civiles. Como única mujer en el comité administrativo del evento, también luchó para garantizar la inclusión de mujeres en el programa de la jornada.</p><h3>Dora Lee Jones</h3><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="Black and white photograph showing two Black women and one man wearing coats and hats lean against a wall, waiting for employment. A movie poster behind them reads &quot;Make a Wish.&quot;" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="87ab1417-00b0-473d-9d25-dbf94a90b179" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/SAAM-1993.72.1_1.jpg" width="604" height="2323" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Las mujeres de esta foto son empleadas domésticas que tienen la esperanza de ser contratadas para una jornada de trabajo. La imagen fue capturada por Robert McNeill para la revista Fortune. <a href="https://americanart.si.edu/artwork/make-wish-bronx-slave-market-170th-street-new-york-34041">Fuente</a>: Robert McNeill, Make A Wish (Mercado de esclavos del Bronx, 170th Street, Nueva York), 1938, Smithsonian American Art Museum.</figcaption></figure><p>Dora Lee Jones ayudó a fundar el Sindicato de Empleados Domésticos de Harlem en 1934 a modo de resistencia ante los “mercados de esclavos” de Nueva York, como se los conocía. Como había pocas opciones de empleo durante la Depresión, las mujeres de color se reunían a diario por la mañana en determinados lugares y esperaban a que las mujeres blancas de clase media las contrataran, normalmente por salarios terribles. El sindicato exigía un salario mínimo, horas extraordinarias, dos semanas de preaviso en caso de despido y que no se tuvieran que lavar las ventanas (a los trabajadores se les pedía con frecuencia que realizaran la peligrosa tarea de limpiar el exterior de las ventanas de los pisos superiores). Con el tiempo, la DWU se afilió al predecesor del actual Sindicato Internacional de Empleados de Servicios.</p><h3>Maida Springer Kemp</h3><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="Black and white headshot of Maida Springer Kemp. Her hair is pulled back and she is wearing a white blouse and dark jacket." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="337b4545-b66d-4d9d-b347-e912eef44598" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/MaidaSpringerKemp-KheelCenter.jpg" width="428" height="620" loading="lazy" /><figcaption><a href="https://kheelcenter.tumblr.com/post/138612056880/maida-springer-kemp">Fuente</a>: ILGWU Photographs #5780, P. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Biblioteca de Cornell University.</figcaption></figure><p>Maida Springer Kemp trabajó como organizadora sindical en la industria textil y se convirtió en la primera mujer de color en representar al movimiento obrero estadounidense en el extranjero en 1945, cuando visitó Gran Bretaña en la posguerra en un viaje de intercambio laboral. Durante muchos años actuó de enlace entre los líderes sindicales estadounidenses y africanos como miembro de la AFL-CIO, y se la conoce cariñosamente como “Mama Maida” por su labor. A lo largo de su vida abogó por los derechos civiles y los derechos de la mujer en los Estados Unidos y a nivel internacional.</p><h3>Rosina Corrothers Tucker</h3><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="Black and white photo of Rosina Tucker standing with A. Philip Randolph and Helena Wilson. All are dressed formally, with a medal pinned to their jackets." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="7a7a5bab-9c3a-4cda-b489-96971a6de2af" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/RosinaTucker-OaklandPublicLibrary.jpg" width="628" height="573" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Rosina Tucker (a la derecha) con Helena Wilson y A. Phillip Randolph. <a href="https://historicsites.dcpreservation.org/items/show/972#&amp;gid=1&amp;pid=2">Fuente</a>: Dellums (Cottrell Laurence) Papers, African American Museum and Library, Biblioteca Pública de Oakland, California.</figcaption></figure><p>Rosina Corrothers Tucker ayudó a fundar la Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, el primer sindicato conformado predominantemente por personas de color del país, y su International Ladies' Auxiliary Order. La BSCP se convirtió en el primer sindicato de color reconocido por la AFL-CIO en 1935. También organizó a los trabajadores de la lavandería y el servicio doméstico, luchó por la justicia racial y económica en el marco de la marcha en Washington y presionó al Congreso para que se introdujeran reformas laborales y educativas. Estas líderes mejoraron las condiciones laborales, los salarios y los derechos de los trabajadores estadounidenses, a menudo a un gran costo personal. Las homenajeamos al continuar la lucha por un lugar de trabajo justo y equitativo para todos.</p><p><em><strong>Nota del editor:</strong> ¿Quieres más información sobre este tema? Lee acerca de estas líderes sindicales y pioneras: </em><a href="https://blog.dol.gov/2022/02/01/black-workplace-pioneers"><em>Mary McLeod Bethune</em></a><em>, </em><a href="https://blog.dol.gov/2023/02/13/5-women-to-celebrate-this-galentines-day"><em>Hattie Canty</em></a><em>, </em><a href="https://blog.dol.gov/2022/02/14/honoring-the-contributions-of-black-leaders-with-disabilities"><em>Fannie Lou Hamer</em></a><em>, </em><a href="https://blog.dol.gov/2023/02/13/5-women-to-celebrate-this-galentines-day"><em>Dorothy Height</em></a><em>, </em><a href="https://blog.dol.gov/2023/02/13/5-women-to-celebrate-this-galentines-day"><em>Maggie Lena Walker</em></a><em> y </em><a href="https://blog.dol.gov/2023/03/02/11-quotes-from-women-labor-leaders"><em>Addie Wyatt</em></a><em>.</em></p><p> </p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/tkoebel" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="Koebel.Tiffany.L@dol.gov">Koebel.Tiffany…</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden"><time datetime="2024-01-17T09:44:11-05:00" title="Wednesday, January 17, 2024 - 09:44" class="datetime">Wed, 01/17/2024 - 09:44</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-featured-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/NannieHelenBurroughs-LOC.png" width="1200" height="819" alt="Nannie Helen Burroughs sits with four other Black women in Victorian dress on the steps to the front porch of a building." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <a href="/author/office-public-affairs" hreflang="en">Office of Public Affairs</a> <div class="blog-tags"> <span>Tags:</span> <ul> <li><a href="/tag/history" hreflang="en">History</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/labor-history" hreflang="en">labor history</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/working-women" hreflang="en">working women</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/womens-history-month" hreflang="en">Women&#039;s History Month</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/black-history-month" hreflang="en">Black History Month</a></li> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/4129" hreflang="en">Caregivers</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/union-organizing" hreflang="en">union organizing</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/collective-bargaining" hreflang="en">collective bargaining</a></li> </ul> </div> Wed, 17 Jan 2024 14:44:11 +0000 Koebel.Tiffany.L@dol.gov 4707 at http://blog.dol.gov The Past and Future of Workplace Safety for Black Americans http://blog.dol.gov/2023/02/17/the-past-and-future-of-workplace-safety-for-black-americans <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Past and Future of Workplace Safety for Black Americans</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-center"><img alt="Black sanitation workers participate in a strike in Memphis in 1968 as National Guard members look on. One worker carries a sign that reads “End dismal working conditions now.” " data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="836f1572-0e5b-4fdc-a371-26232dcbdb64" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Memphis2.png" width="748" height="450" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>AFSCME Local 1733 sanitation workers strike in Memphis in 1968 as National Guard members watch. One carries a sign that reads “End dismal working conditions now.” <em>Source: </em><a href="https://projects.lib.wayne.edu/iamaman/items/show/187 "><em>“National Guard,” I Am A Man, accessed 2-17-23</em></a></figcaption></figure><p>Historically, Black Americans have faced significant discrimination and have been refused equity in our society, including in workplace safety and health. At the same time, they’ve also been at the forefront of fighting for stronger workplace protections for all Americans. From the <a href="https://aflcio.org/about/history/labor-history-events/atlanta-washerwomen-strike" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Atlanta Washerwomen</a> to the <a href="https://www.dol.gov/general/aboutdol/hallofhonor/1989_randolph">Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters</a> to the <a href="https://blog.dol.gov/2023/02/15/what-you-probably-didnt-know-about-the-role-of-black-miners-in-us-history" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Black miners who all took a stand against abusive labor practices</a> – and countless others – we honor their leadership and sacrifices during Black History Month as we continue to fulfill our mission to improve workplace safety and health. </p><p>It was 55 years ago this month, in Memphis, Tennessee, when two Black sanitation workers, Echol Cole and Robert Walker, died after being crushed when the truck they were working on malfunctioned. When the city failed to respond to this tragedy more than a week later, 1,300 Black workers from the city’s public works department <a href="https://www.dol.gov/general/aboutdol/hallofhonor/2011_memphis">went on strike</a> to demand better wages and safer working conditions. In support of the workers, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. joined the strike and played a key role in leading nonviolent protests to help the workers and the city come to an agreement for better wages and better work protections. In fact, he was in Memphis to support the workers when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968. The event became part of the larger civil rights movement. </p><p>Fast forward to today: While we’ve made great strides in workplace safety, too many workers are still subjected to conditions as dangerous as what Cole and Walker faced. In 2021, more than 14 workers were killed on the job every day. <a href="https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cfoi.nr0.htm">Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics</a> show that the share of fatalities among Black workers reached an all-time high at 12.6% in 2021, increasing to 653 from 541 in 2020, with most in the transportation industry or related to workplace violence. The disparity is especially clear in the fatality rates for major demographics: Black or African American workers had a fatality rate of 4.0 per 100,000 full-time workers, compared with an average of 3.6 for all workers. </p><img src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/BlackFatalityRate_blog.png" data-entity-uuid="60f84706-3bd4-4902-935c-0c053cbdeb4c" data-entity-type="file" alt="Chart showing the Black worker fatality rate (4.0 per 100,000 full-time employees) compared with the all worker rate (3.6) and the white, non-Hispanic rate (3.4). Source: Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, BLS.gov" class="align-center" width="850" height="465" loading="lazy" /><p>The rise in fatal injuries and illnesses links to racial disparities and social issues Black Americans face, such as <a href="https://home.treasury.gov/news/featured-stories/racial-inequality-in-the-united-states">limited education opportunities, lower earnings</a> and more exposure to hazardous jobs than white Americans. They are also more likely to fear retaliation for speaking up about health and safety concerns at work. </p><p>Last September, the Occupational Safety and Health Administrated hosted our first <a href="https://blog.dol.gov/2022/11/14/lifting-workers-voices-and-strengthening-relationships">Workers’ Voice Summit in Washington, D.C</a>. We heard from workers across the country about cases of job steering, where employers assign workers of color to the most dangerous, dirtiest and most unpleasant jobs. No worker should ever be at any disadvantage because of the color of their skin.</p><p>That is why OSHA is taking steps to expand our effort to those disproportionately impacted by injuries and illnesses while on the job – including Black workers – in high-hazard industries like construction, health care and warehousing.   </p><p>We are collaborating with stakeholders, Black-led union groups and worker centers to better understand how we can make resources more accessible, and equip workers with proper tools, knowledge and training to ensure equitable enforcement. With the right resources and support, workers can raise their voices with confidence and trust OSHA will listen and support their needs. </p><p>As we celebrate Black History Month, we know we must do more to create equity and safety for all workers. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said during the Memphis sanitation strike, “whenever you are engaged in work that serves humanity and is for the building of humanity, it has dignity, and it has worth.” If each employer implemented that level of humanity in their business today, we could see more equity for everyone and safer workplaces. </p><p> </p><p><em>Doug Parker is the assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Follow OSHA on Twitter at </em><a href="https://www.twitter.com/OSHA_DOL"><em>@OSHA_DOL</em></a><em>. </em></p><p> </p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/tkoebel" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="Koebel.Tiffany.L@dol.gov">Koebel.Tiffany…</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden"><time datetime="2023-02-17T18:02:20-05:00" title="Friday, February 17, 2023 - 18:02" class="datetime">Fri, 02/17/2023 - 18:02</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-featured-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/Memphis2_preview.png" width="500" height="361" alt="Black sanitation workers participate in a strike in Memphis in 1968 as National Guard members look on. One worker carries a sign that reads “End dismal working conditions now.” " typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <a href="/taxonomy/term/4295" hreflang="en">Doug Parker</a> <div class="blog-tags"> <span>Tags:</span> <ul> <li><a href="/tag/black-history-month" hreflang="en">Black History Month</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/memphis-sanitation-strike" hreflang="en">Memphis Sanitation Strike</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/martin-luther-king-jr" hreflang="en">Martin Luther King Jr.</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/labor-history" hreflang="en">labor history</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/black-workers" hreflang="en">black workers</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/workplace-fatalities" hreflang="en">workplace fatalities</a></li> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/4093" hreflang="en">Equity</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/bls-data" hreflang="en">BLS data</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/on-the-job-fatalities" hreflang="en">on-the-job fatalities</a></li> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/4466" hreflang="en">Workers&#039; Voice Summit</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/occupational-safety-and-health-administration-osha" hreflang="en">Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/workplace-hazards" hreflang="en">workplace hazards</a></li> </ul> </div> Fri, 17 Feb 2023 23:02:20 +0000 Koebel.Tiffany.L@dol.gov 4448 at http://blog.dol.gov http://blog.dol.gov/2023/02/17/the-past-and-future-of-workplace-safety-for-black-americans#comments What You Probably Didn’t Know About the Role of Black Miners in U.S. History http://blog.dol.gov/2023/02/15/what-you-probably-didnt-know-about-the-role-of-black-miners-in-us-history <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">What You Probably Didn’t Know About the Role of Black Miners in U.S. History</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-center"><img alt="Three Black miners stand above ground, wearing coveralls and covered in coal dust." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ea407724-080a-4866-89d7-595ffe73e847" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/BHM_blog.png" width="800" height="400" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Black coal miners working for the Lorain Coal &amp; Dock Co. in Lorado, West Virginia, in 1918. Source: <a href="https://www.loc.gov/resource/ds.07715/">Library of Congress</a></figcaption></figure><p>The mining industry has played a crucial role in America’s economic growth and development. Black Americans have had an integral role in shaping our nation’s mining industry since its earliest days — and yet their contributions remain largely unrecognized by mainstream history books. In fact, Black men and women were among the first to join and organize unions in many fields, and mining is no exception.</p><p>From the mid-1700s, enslaved workers in the coal pits of Richmond, Virginia, were among the first to work in America's commercial coal mines. Thrown into harsh labor conditions and exploitation, some of these miners managed to acquire skills and knowledge that would eventually give rise to a Black-led mining culture.</p><p>One of the largest coal companies operating in the Richmond Basin (Virginia) in the late 1830s was the Midlothian Mining Co., which used around 150 enslaved black workers. After emancipation, industrializing central Appalachia saw Black miners come closer to finding economic equality than in any other coalfield, though the work was dangerous and difficult. This potential economic equality sparked a large influx of African Americans into the area. By 1920, about 88,706 African Americans resided in central Appalachia and over 26% of all mine workers in the area were Black. </p><p>During those mercurial times, Black miners increasingly organized themselves into unions to push for better working conditions and wages. One of the most notable events in the history of Black miners and unionization is the Miners’ March of 1921 in West Virginia where African American miners made up a significant portion of the striking workforce. The Miners' March culminated in the dramatic Battle of Blair Mountain, where Black and white miners united under the banner of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) to face off against a force composed of law enforcement officers and hired agents. At that time, the UMWA was considered one of the leading labor organizations for interracial membership.</p><p>Unfortunately, with the rise of Jim Crow segregation laws, Black miners faced increasing discrimination throughout the early 20th century and many eventually lost their jobs or were forced out of unions altogether. And during the Great Depression, <a href="http://expatalachians.com/black-coal-the-african-american-miners-of-west-virginias-southern-coalfields" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Black miners were often the first to be laid off</a> as the industry faced hard times. Many of those jobs were never recovered, and this was especially true for Black miners. Even so, today there are still <a href="https://umwa.org/news-media/news/standing-united-living-divided-black-coal-miners-and-their-fight-for-justice/" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Black coal miners</a> striving to keep the legacy of their forebears alive.</p><p>Only 4.7% of coal mine workers in the U.S. today are Black. At the Mine Safety and Health Administration, we’re committed to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) in the mining industry, and protecting the safety and health of all miners.</p><p>Black miners and their families never stopped fighting for justice and equality. We remember those who sacrificed so much for us, tell their stories and honor their memory by striving toward a more equitable future for everyone involved in this critical industry. It is only through acknowledging our shared past that can we truly move forward together toward progress and prosperity for generations to come.</p><p>Learn more about Black history in U.S. mining:</p><ul role="list"><li><a href="https://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/25">West Virginia Humanities Council: "African American Coal Miners"</a></li><li><a href="https://mining.jamison.museum/african-americans-in-the-lead-mining-district/">The Mining &amp; Rollo Jamison Museums: "African Americans in the Lead Mining District"</a></li><li><a href="https://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/forgotten-town-dana-wyo-story-black-legacy-and-miners-rights">Wyoming Historical Society: "The Forgotten Town of Dana, Wyoming: A Story of Black Legacy and Miners' Rights"</a></li></ul><p> </p><p><em>Ursula Frazier is the Management Officer for Educational Policy and Development at the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Follow MSHA on </em><a href="https://www.twitter.com/MSHA_DOL"><em>Twitter</em></a><em> and </em><a href="https://www.facebook.com/MineSafetyAndHealth"><em>Facebook</em></a><em>.</em></p><p> </p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/tkoebel" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="Koebel.Tiffany.L@dol.gov">Koebel.Tiffany…</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden"><time datetime="2023-02-15T16:27:39-05:00" title="Wednesday, February 15, 2023 - 16:27" class="datetime">Wed, 02/15/2023 - 16:27</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-featured-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/BHM_500x360.png" width="500" height="360" alt="Three Black miners stand above ground, wearing coveralls and covered in coal dust." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <a href="/taxonomy/term/4517" hreflang="en">Ursula Frazier</a> <div class="blog-tags"> <span>Tags:</span> <ul> <li><a href="/tag/black-history-month" hreflang="en">Black History Month</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/mining" hreflang="en">mining</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/mine-safety-health-administration-msha" hreflang="en">Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)</a></li> </ul> </div> Wed, 15 Feb 2023 21:27:39 +0000 Koebel.Tiffany.L@dol.gov 4444 at http://blog.dol.gov http://blog.dol.gov/2023/02/15/what-you-probably-didnt-know-about-the-role-of-black-miners-in-us-history#comments Honoring Black Leaders with Intersecting Impact  http://blog.dol.gov/2023/02/08/honoring-black-leaders-with-intersecting-impact <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Honoring Black Leaders with Intersecting Impact </span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><!-- START TWITTER CARD --><meta name="twitter:card" content="summary" /><link href=" https://blog.dol.gov/2023/02/08/honoring-black-leaders-with-intersecting-impact" rel="canonical" /><meta name="twitter:title" content="Honoring Black Leaders with Intersecting Impact" /><meta name="twitter:image:alt" content="”Professional" headshot="" of="" roxann="" griffith="" /><meta name="twitter:description" content="An ODEP employee reflects on the intersection of her identity and career." /><meta name="twitter:image" content="https://blog.dol.gov/sites/default/files/inline-images/roxann_blog.png" /><meta property="og:image:url" content="https://blog.dol.gov/sites/default/files/inline-images/roxann_blog.png" /><meta property="og:image:type" content="image/png" /><meta property="og:image:alt" content="Professional headshot of Roxann Griffith" /><!-- END TWITTER CARD --><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-right"><img alt="Professional headshot of Roxann Griffith " data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a8b15c96-603b-4c39-ab96-373ae89c47b5" height="222" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/roxann_blog.png" width="222" loading="lazy" /><figcaption><em>Roxann Griffith</em></figcaption></figure><p paraeid="{4bd46e16-b56a-435e-a4fe-b04f1349316f}{177}" paraid="992730601">Every February, I, along with many others across the nation, commemorate Black History Month and celebrate an important aspect of my diverse cultural heritage. Like most Americans, I’m the sum of many parts, an amalgam of intersecting identities. I am Black, a woman and a proud disabled veteran, to name a few. The intersectionality of my heritage and lived experiences is unique to me and makes me who I am.  </p> <p paraeid="{5ec40f4c-d79c-4464-9b45-87f12dd32c2c}{2}" paraid="577581270">This Black History Month, I have been thinking a lot about intersectionality and the many Black Americans who not only made their mark on American history, but also advanced progress for other historically marginalized groups, including people with disabilities.  </p> <p paraeid="{5ec40f4c-d79c-4464-9b45-87f12dd32c2c}{34}" paraid="945724196">One example is First Sergeant Delphine Metcalf-Foster, United States Army (Ret.), who in 2017 was elected as the <a href="https://www.dav.org/wp-content/uploads/Metcalf_Foster_Delphine-Bio.pdf" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">first Black woman National Commander of the Disabled American Veterans</a> (DAV), just one of her many achievements. 1st Sgt. Metcalf-Foster was injured in 1991 while serving in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm/Desert Shield, and her lived experience as a disabled veteran was central to her success leading DAV. Her perspective as a Black woman certainly also benefitted the organization in better understanding and meeting the needs of its diverse stakeholders.   </p> <p paraeid="{5ec40f4c-d79c-4464-9b45-87f12dd32c2c}{141}" paraid="1458290937">Of course, 1st Sgt. Metcalf-Foster is one of many Black disabled veterans who have fought for our freedom and contributed to American history. Her example serves as a reminder that I, too, can make a positive difference in our great nation. Each day I take inspiration from her, and those advocates who came before me, as I go about my daily work at the department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). I am proud to be part of a dedicated team committed to improving workforce equity and inclusion for people with disabilities from all backgrounds who have traditionally faced barriers to employment. </p> <p paraeid="{5ec40f4c-d79c-4464-9b45-87f12dd32c2c}{233}" paraid="1808307629">While I’m relatively new to ODEP, this goal of increasing equity and inclusion has been the common thread connecting my civilian career. Previously I worked in both the department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service and Women’s Bureau. Although each of these three agencies serves different populations, all play a key role in the department’s overarching goal to build a better, stronger, more equitable and inclusive workforce for all Americans. </p> <p paraeid="{f434724c-ae3b-4b22-a144-c9bf5d2edfd4}{4}" paraid="115106790">As someone with intersecting identities across race and other unique and differentiating factors, I’m honored to do my part and deliver on this goal, every month. </p> <p paraeid="{f434724c-ae3b-4b22-a144-c9bf5d2edfd4}{30}" paraid="808952648"><em>Roxann Griffith is a senior policy advisor in the department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. </em></p> <p paraeid="{f434724c-ae3b-4b22-a144-c9bf5d2edfd4}{48}" paraid="192426187"> </p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/lmcginnis" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="McGinnis.Laura.K@dol.gov">McGinnis.Laura…</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden"><time datetime="2023-02-08T13:46:11-05:00" title="Wednesday, February 8, 2023 - 13:46" class="datetime">Wed, 02/08/2023 - 13:46</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-featured-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/roxann_featured.png" width="500" height="360" alt="Professional headshot of Roxann Griffith" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <a href="/taxonomy/term/4510" hreflang="en">Roxann Griffith</a> <div class="blog-tags"> <span>Tags:</span> <ul> <li><a href="/tag/office-of-disability-employment-policy-odep" hreflang="en">Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/black-history-month" hreflang="en">Black History Month</a></li> </ul> </div> Wed, 08 Feb 2023 18:46:11 +0000 McGinnis.Laura.K@dol.gov 4437 at http://blog.dol.gov Black History and Labor History – Test Your Knowledge http://blog.dol.gov/2023/02/01/black-history-and-labor-history-test-your-knowledge <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Black History and Labor History – Test Your Knowledge</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><!-- START TWITTER CARD --><meta name="twitter:card" content="summary_large_image" /><link href="https://blog.dol.gov/2023/02/01/black-history-and-labor-history-test-your-knowledge" rel="canonical" /><meta name="twitter:title" content="Black History and Labor History – Test Your Knowledge" /><meta name="twitter:image:alt" content="Black History Month" /><meta name="twitter:description" content="Test your knowledge with our Black History Month Labor Trivia Challenge" /><meta name="twitter:image" content="https://blog.dol.gov/sites/default/files/inline-images/BHM-TW1.png" /><meta property="og:image:url" content="https://blog.dol.gov/sites/default/files/inline-images/BHM-TW1.png" /><meta property="og:image:type" content="image/png" /><meta property="og:image:alt" content="Black History Month" /><!-- END TWITTER CARD --><center><img alt="Black History Month" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="5dc012f2-464f-431f-a887-be785c1caf28" height="323" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/BHM-TW1.png" width="574" class="align-center" loading="lazy" /></center> <p> </p> <p>Black Americans have been instrumental to the development of the United States and have played a crucial role in the American labor movement, through new inventions, workplace organization and public service – including serving at the Department of Labor. Test your knowledge with our Black History Month Labor Trivia Challenge.</p> <p> </p> <h3><strong>Questions</strong></h3> <p><strong>1. Who was the first president to recognize Black History Month?</strong></p> <p>A. John F. Kennedy</p> <p>B. Jimmy Carter</p> <p>C. Gerald Ford</p> <p><strong>2. For which of the following products is inventor-businessman Garrett A. Morgan known?</strong></p> <p>A. The gas mask and three-position traffic signal</p> <p>B. The blender and Band-Aid</p> <p>C. The garbage disposal and modern sunglasses</p> <p><strong>3. What was the first year the federal government officially counted black workers in the U.S. Census?</strong></p> <p>A. 1850</p> <p>B. 1860</p> <p>C. 1870</p> <p><strong>4. In 1881, thousands of Black laundry workers organized the “Atlanta Washerwomen Strike.” Which of the following were they not striking for?</strong></p> <p>A. Higher wages</p> <p>B. A pension</p> <p>C. Respect for their work</p> <p><strong>5. Black workers make up what percent of the U.S. labor force today?</strong></p> <p>A. 9%</p> <p>B. 13%</p> <p>C. 16%</p> <p><strong>6. Who was the first Black woman to serve in Congress?</strong></p> <p>A. Shirley Anita Chisholm</p> <p>B. Yvonne Brathwaite Burke</p> <p>C. Barbara Jordan</p> <p><strong>7. Who was the first Black Secretary of Labor?</strong></p> <p>A. Lisa P. Jackson</p> <p>B. Alexis M. Herman</p> <p>C. Patricia Roberts Harris</p> <p> </p> <h3><strong>Answers</strong></h3> <ol><li> <p>C. President Gerald Ford in 1976. At the time, President Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” This recognition came after years of advocacy by Black activists, most prominently <a href="https://naacp.org/find-resources/history-explained/civil-rights-leaders/carter-g-woodson " rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Carter G. Woodson</a>, who first recognized “Negro History Week” in February 1926, choosing the first week to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Woodson’s efforts eventually led to the creation of Black History Month.</p> </li> <li> <p>A. Garrett A. Morgan invented an early form of a gas mask in the early twentieth century to protect individuals from smoke inhalation. This “safety hood” was used to rescue eight workers from a tunnel explosion in Cleveland and he sold the masks to the U.S. Army for use in World War I. He also patented the first three-position traffic signal in 1923, using stop, slow and go indicators, before selling the rights to General Electric. <a href="https://blog.dol.gov/2022/02/01/black-workplace-pioneers" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">You can read more about Garrett A. Morgan here</a>.</p> </li> <li>C. The 1870 Census was the first to include Black Americans by name and occupation, along with the rest of the population. <a href="https://gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.loc.gov%2Fcollections%2Famerica-at-work-and-leisure-1894-to-1915%2Farticles-and-essays%2Famerica-at-work%2F&amp;data=05%7C01%7CMcGinnis.Laura.K%40dol.gov%7C1a6bec0d421840ba0c7408db046d42f2%7C75a6305472044e0c9126adab971d4aca%7C0%7C0%7C638108639532350451%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=nlYw8fYchbext3W0bx%2FwxvwkZmnPklSE3XcYmDjMu3o%3D&amp;reserved=0">The Library of Congress</a> notes that in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Black Americans had limited work opportunities. Some held skilled positions, and many were employed in agriculture, domestic and service industries.</li> <li> <p black="" by="" c.="" first="" history="" month="" recognized="" was="">B. <a href="https://aflcio.org/about/history/labor-history-events/atlanta-washerwomen-strike" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">According to the AFL-CIO</a>, the Atlanta Washerwomen were striking “for higher wages, respect for their work and control over how their work was organized.” Over the course of three weeks, the strike expanded from 20 women to more than 3,000. At a time when women did not even have the right to vote, this union of predominantly Black women was able to achieve meaningful change, and inspire others in Atlanta to do so too.</p> </li> <li> <p>B. Black workers constitute about <a href="https://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat05.htm ">13% of the labor force</a>.</p> </li> <li> <p>A. <a href="https://history.house.gov/Historical-Highlights/1951-2000/The-first-African-American-woman-elected-to-Congress/">Shirley Anita Chisholm</a> was the first Black woman elected to Congress. She was sworn in on Jan. 3, 1969, after winning her election with the slogan “Unbought and Unbossed.” She went on to serve six terms in the House of Representatives before declining to run for reelection in 1982. Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and Barbara Jordan were also among the first Black women elected to Congress, both sworn into office in 1973.</p> </li> <li> <p>B. <a href="https://www.dol.gov/general/aboutdol/history/herman" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Alexis Herman</a> was the first Black secretary of labor, serving under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001. <a href="https://www.epa.gov/archive/epa/aboutepa/biography-lisa-p-jackson.html" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Lisa P. Jackson</a> was the first Black administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency and <a href="https://diplomacy.state.gov/encyclopedia/patricia-roberts-harris-ambassador/" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Patricia Roberts Harris</a> was the first Black secretary of health and human services.</p> </li> </ol><p paraeid="{0e77f3e9-7965-485d-90d1-b40b471027a9}{179}" paraid="2057211554">The Department of Labor is committed to improving the well-being of all underserved, marginalized and excluded communities. This work includes investing over <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/11/06/the-biden-harris-administration-advances-equity-and-opportunity-for-black-americans-and-communities-across-the-country/" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">$215 million in equitable workforce training in 2022</a>. By <a href="https://www.dol.gov/general/equity-action-plan">advancing the causes of workers that have been historically marginalized</a>, the department will improve working conditions and economic opportunities for all workers. The work of Black workers and labor leaders have shaped the United States into the country it is today, and we are proud to celebrate such efforts not only in February, but all year long.</p> <p paraeid="{0e77f3e9-7965-485d-90d1-b40b471027a9}{183}" paraid="1705123394"><a href="https://blog.dol.gov/2022/02/01/black-workplace-pioneers">Read more about Black workplace pioneers</a> who helped create opportunities and improve the lives of generations of Americans.  </p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/lmcginnis" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="McGinnis.Laura.K@dol.gov">McGinnis.Laura…</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden"><time datetime="2023-02-01T10:42:43-05:00" title="Wednesday, February 1, 2023 - 10:42" class="datetime">Wed, 02/01/2023 - 10:42</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-featured-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/bhm_featured.png" width="500" height="360" alt="Black History Month" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <a href="/author/office-public-affairs" hreflang="en">Office of Public Affairs</a> <div class="blog-tags"> <span>Tags:</span> <ul> <li><a href="/tag/black-history-month" hreflang="en">Black History Month</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/labor-history" hreflang="en">labor history</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/history" hreflang="en">History</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/black-workers" hreflang="en">black workers</a></li> </ul> </div> Wed, 01 Feb 2023 15:42:43 +0000 McGinnis.Laura.K@dol.gov 4429 at http://blog.dol.gov http://blog.dol.gov/2023/02/01/black-history-and-labor-history-test-your-knowledge#comments