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Oliver Montgomery Oral History

 Item — Box: Individual Oral Histories Box 2: G-M, Folder: 12
Identifier: LOH002296
Collection consists of interview recordings and a transcript. Montgomery discusses his background, career, union activism, civil rights work, personal philosophy, and outlook on the future.
The interviews can be divided approximately as follows: childhood in Youngstown, family history, legacy as a third-generation steelworker, education, military service in Navy and Army including Korean War and later reserve service, entry into steel mill work and trade unionism in 1948 with Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. and USW Local 2163, working conditions in the 1940s and 1950s, move to Briar Hil Plant in 1950, beginnings of real career as labor activist as shop steward and later grievance chairperson for Local 1942 (tape 1, side 1); racial inequities in union stewards and leadership, efforts to integrate union leadership, grievance training and setting up training schools in the 1950s, 1960 as a "banner year" for African American rise to power in the local (tape 1, side 2); continuation of the events of 1960, ethnic factions in the local, international union leadership challenges, work in the international union in Research Department as an analyst, beginning of involvement with the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) (tape 2, side 1); CBTU involvement, including personal involvement and emergence of CBTU from the Negro American Labor Council (NALC) (tape 2, side 2); CBTU activities and achievements including its impact on the labor movement, making the AFL-CIO "look like the American workforce," and Free South Africa Movement efforts (tape 3, side 1); personal philosophy and outlook, his “two sides”: radical activism and more mainstream work and roles (e.g. military service, steelworkers, NAACP, NALC), fight to end discrimination against Black Muslims in plants, the Black Power movement including effectiveness of liaising with them, corporations, democracy, concerns about the global economy, state of American labor and civil rights in the present, concerns for the future, and his admiration for Walter Reuther (tape 3, side 2). Tape 3, side 2 is blank for about the first 15 minutes of running time.

Dates

  • 2001-03-26
  • 2001-03-27

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.

RESTRICTIONS: Due to the personal nature of oral history, the Library prohibits use of the material in any way that infringes on individual right to privacy, or results in libelous statements or slander, in accordance with U.S. law.

Extent

.25 Linear Feet : (1 printed transcript and 6 audiocassettes)

Abstract

In 2001, Mike Smith interviewed labor and civil rights leader Oliver Montgomery on his lifelong advocacy for racial equality and worker rights, particularly in the steel industry. Collection consists of interview recordings and a transcript. Montgomery discusses his background, career, union activism, civil rights work, personal philosophy, and outlook on the future.

History

In 2001, Mike Smith interviewed labor and civil rights leader Oliver Montgomery on his lifelong advocacy for racial equality and worker rights, particularly in the steel industry.

Acquisition

Donated by Mike Smith, Walter P. Reuther Library, circa 2001.

Other Copies

A duplicate set of audiocassettes is available.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Rebecca Bizonet on July 13, 2016.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Oliver Montgomery Oral History
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Rebecca Bizonet
Date
2016-07-13
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Sponsor
Description made possible by funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
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Detroit MI 48202 USA