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As Long as There Is Jim Crow, It’s Picket Lines for The Negro (7 pages)

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As Long as There Is Jim Crow, It’s Picket Lines for The Negro

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Calhoun 1 Breanna Ja’Nae Calhoun SWC 100 Aug. 9, 2009 As Long as There Is Jim Crow, It’s Picket Lines for The Negro The two New York Times articles, in June 1949, “Picket City Hall” and “38 Dockers Stage Sit-Down at Union” evaluate the issues in which African American workers were faced with by their employers. The “Picket City Hall” article is a follow up story of the article “38 Dockers Stage Sit-Down at Union” and is printed just two weeks and one day after the first article, which was June 7, 1949. The June 7, 1949 article opens up the story about how Negro workers picketed by holding a sit-down outside of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) office on “265 West Fourteenth Street” due to unequal privileges of White and Colored workers. The Negros knew the mistreatment was a result of Jim Crow and being that the majority of the Local 968 workers were Negros, they felt that they deserved to be given the same rights as the few White workers. But since employment then became an issue with Negro workers, they were determined to use what LITTLE rights they had and voice their opinions by picketing. The article written two weeks later, “Picket City Hall” sums up the results of the previous picketing, this involved brawls that the police had to stop. These articles represents how although workers know their rights, the White men who hold superior positions will not acknowledge them and grant Blacks the legal and constitutional rights they were given centuries ago, on September 17, 1787. The Negro workers are just taken in circles of the many highly positioned White men in offices, in which they all say they basically will not budge because they have nothing to do with it. Calhoun 2 The starting article of the long, drawn out story “38 Dockers Stage Sit-Down at Union” begins with clarifying the reason why the Negro workers decided to sit-in in the ILA office for five hours. They did this because Negro workers were not being given jobs on the Brooklyn Waterfront. Also, later on in the article, readers realize that the Local 968 Negro Longshoremen got involved because Mr. Ryan (White superior man in a highly positioned job as an Executive) lied and said that “They” referring to the Black picketers “are doing it because I won’t knock a lot of people off the job in Brooklyn and give the jobs to their friends.” Then, Mr. Ryan went on to say, “But the people in this local” referring to the Local 968 (which is predominately Black) workers in the ILA “are getting more work and a better deal now than any other local and the records will prove it.” His statement aggravated the Black members of the Local 968 because by this Mr. Ryan explained that it meant, “511 of the 700 members of Local 968 would receive vacations this year and come under the ILA welfare plan. It was explained that a member ...


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