Freedomways Reader: Prophets in Their Own Country

By Esther Cooper Jackson; Constance Pohl | Go to book overview

37
three Challenges to Organized Labor, No. 4, 1972

JESSE L. JACKSON

The basis for this article was Reverend Jackson's keynote address delivered to a Meatpackers Union Convention in Florida, August 9, 1972.

. . . A hundred years ago in 1872 the forces of Labor and the Black Community were at that time mobilizing, regrouping, and developing to deal with the special problems which had arisen out of the Civil War. At that time the new born "National Labor Union" under William Sylvis and Isaac Meyers was beginning to pull together the forces that would fight for the eight-hour day and the dignity of the working people. And central to their responsibility at that time was the struggle to keep alive the Reconstruction effort which Afro- Americans were leading; an effort to reconstruct southern government, abolish the remnants of slavery, build a public school system, free to all children, and establish the right of women to serve on juries and receive their own pay checks for their work.

-217-

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