Oliver Montgomery Oral History
Item — Box: Individual Oral Histories Box 2: G-M, Folder: 12
Scope and Content
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.
- Smith, Mike (Michael O.) (Interviewer, Person)
Language of Materials
Material entirely in English.
Collection is open for research.
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.
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.
.25 Linear Feet : (1 printed transcript and 6 audiocassettes)
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.
Donated by Mike Smith, Walter P. Reuther Library, circa 2001.
A duplicate set of audiocassettes is available.
Processed and finding aid written by Rebecca Bizonet on July 13, 2016.
- Guide to the Oliver Montgomery Oral History
- Processed by Rebecca Bizonet
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description made possible by funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.