Labor Day reflection: the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters

With the expansion of the Transcontinental Railroad connecting America, full-service, first-class rail accommodations emerged as the pinnacle of late 19th and 20th-century travel. At the helm of this technological middle-class experience was an army of African-American men known as Sleeping Car Pullman Porters. George Pullman started The Pullman Company in 1867, shortly after slavery ended. Pullman Porters existed as a personification of the apocryphal mystique of the Antebellum South. Subjected to long working hours, low wages and perpetual discrimination, the Pullman Porters banded together to form the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in 1925. Led by A. Phillip Randolph, the Brotherhood was the first successful African-American labor union and was integral in convincing President Roosevelt to sign Executive Order 8802 in 1941. The order banned employment discrimination in the defense industry. We remember the contributions of the people who helped make America a better place.

Posted on Monday, September 04, 2023 by Mr. Ari McCaskill (