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Martin and Jessie Glaberman Papers

Identifier: LP000621

Scope and Content

Part I: The papers of Martin and Jessie Glaberman reflect their many years of involvement in the labor, civil rights and women's movements.

Important subjects covered in the collection are: African American automobile industry workers Automobile industry workers Black power -- Michigan -- Detroit Black Workers Congress Coal strike, U.S., 1977-1978 Collective bargaining -- Automobile industry -- United States Correspondence Publishing Committee/Company Facing Reality Publishing Committee James, C. L. R. (Cyril Lionel Robert), 1901-1989 Johnson-Forest Tendency Marxist humanism Negri, Antonio NSZZ "Solidarnosc" (Labor organization) Radicalism Socialist Workers Party Strikes and lockouts -- Automobile industry West Indies -- Political parties Women's rights Workers & Farmers Party (Trinidad and Tobago) World War, 1939-1945 -- Labor -- United States

Among the important correspondents are: Grace Lee Boggs James Boggs Paul Buhle Filomena Daddario Raya Dunayevskaya Robert A. Hill Noel Ignatiev C. L. R. James Selma James Nettie Kravitz Ken Lawrence Staughton Lynd Frank Marquart Ernest Mazey Frances D. Paine G. Lyman Paine George Rawick Constance Webb Pearlstein

Aliases found in correspondence: Blackman, Saul: Ike, Rorty Boggs, Grace Lee: G, Kaufman, Hauser, Ria Stone Boggs, James: Heinz Castoriadis, Cornelius: Chaulieu, Cardan Daddario, Filomena: Fil, Finch Dunayevskaya, Raya: FF, Freddy Forest, Weaver, W, Rae, R, Siegal Glaberman, Jessie: Alice Glaberman, Marty: Pound, Harvey, Sherman, M, Dean, Harris, Mr. Toad James, C. L. R.: J. R. Johnson, J, Jimmy, Nello, N James, Selma: S, Cartwright Kravitz, Nettie: Chapin Paine, Freddy: F, Frederick, Ott, Freddy Duke Paine, Lyman: L, Neff Pearlstein, Constance Webb: Parish Zupan, Johnny: Nelson Series Description: Series I, Subject and Correspondence Files, 1938 1977: Correspondence, articles, clippings and other items concerning Glaberman's involvement in American labor and radical movements. Much of the material relates to Glaberman's association with the West Indian radical, C. L. R. James.

Series II, C. L. R. James, 1947 1973: Publications, drafts, speeches,and notes written by or about,James. Includes materials on Pan Africanism, social history, blacks, literature and the Johnson Forest Tendency.

Series III, North American Radical Publications, 1923-1981: Periodicals, pamphlets, books and other printed material relating to radical movements in North America.

Series IV, World Wide Radical Publications, 1936-1975: Periodicals, pamphlets, books and other printed material relating to radical movements outside North America.
Part II: Series Description: Series V, Martin Glaberman Files, 1947-2001: Personal and professional correspondence, biographical information, interviews, publications, including book reviews and letters to the editor, conference papers and programs, financial and other files related to his involvement with Correspondence and Facing Reality Publishing Committees and material documenting his graduate education and teaching career.

Series VI, C. L. R. James, 1939-2001: Publications by and about C.L.R. James, interviews, speeches, conferences celebrating his life and ideas, obituaries, remembrances and memorial tributes. Included are files related to the Trinidad and Tobago Workers & Farmers Party he helped found in the 1960's.

Series VII, Subject Files, 1940's-2001: Publications — pamphlets, newspaper clippings, magazines, newsletters, theses, conference papers — dealing primarily with workers, especially autoworkers, their unions and radical politics. Included are voluminous clippings files on UAW contract negotiations and the rise of the Polish trade union movement, Solidarity.

Series VIII, Jessie Glaberman Files, 1960's-1992: Correspondence, an oral history interview, pamphlets, flyers and other publications related to her feminist and radical political activities.


  • 1939 - 2001


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: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


Martin Glaberman was born in New York City on December 13, 1918. He graduated from the City College of New York with a degree in political science in 1939. His graduate education included work at American University and an M.A. in sociology from the University of Detroit in 1971. He has taught sociology and political science at the University of Detroit, Wayne County Community College and Wayne State University. He has lectured on a variety of subjects, including American history, labor movements, social problems and black history.

From 1942 to 1965 Mr. Glaberman was active in the labor movement, primarily in the United Auto Workers. In addition to being employed as a machine worker, he served as editor of several local union newspapers, a steward, a committeeman and an instructor in various union educational programs.

Mr. Glaberman was managing editor of Correspondence, a national labor newspaper, from 1953 to 1955. He has since been a freelance writer, with articles appearing in Labor History, Radical America and New Politics among others. His book, Wartime Strikes, deals with the no strike pledge issue in the UAW during World War II. He died in December of 2001.

Jessie Glaberman (nee Jane Cohn) was born in New York in 1922. Just prior to World War II she married Martin Glaberman. After receiving her education in New York City, they came to Michigan, where she worked in the war plants building truck and aircraft motors. As a result of her experience in the plants, she became actively involved in the labor and civil rights movements.

Up until her death in July of 1981, she played an important role in the women's rights movement in the Detroit area, particularly at Wayne State University.


31.5 Linear Feet ((37 MB, 12 SB), 10 OS)


Martin Glaberman was active in the labor movement from 1942-1965, primarily in the UAW. He has written extensively on labor both as managing editor of national labor newspaper in the 1950s and as a freelance writer. He also lectured in sociology and political science at several Detroit colleges.

Jessie Glaberman was actively involved in labor and civil rights movements, playing an important role in the women's rights movement in Detroit, particularly at Wayne State University.

Their papers reflect their many years of involvement in the labor, civil rights and women's movements. Material includes correspondence, radical publications, speeches, and interviews on their involvements and interests such as the Correspondence Publishing Committee/Company, C.L.R. James and the Socialist Workers Party.


Part I: Arranged in 4 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-21), Series 2 (Boxes 21-22), Series 3 (Boxes 23-27, oversize box 1), and Series 4 (Boxes 27-37, oversize box 2). Folders are arranged alphabetically, or chronologically, depending upon the series.
Part II: Arranged in 4 series- Series 5 (Boxes 38-43), Series 6 (Boxes 43-45), Series 7 (Boxes 45-49), and Series 8 (Box 49). Folders are arranged alphabetically.


The papers of Martin and Jessie Glaberman were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs by Martin Glaberman between 1973 and 1980.
Part II: Additional papers were placed in the Archives by Mr. Glaberman and his son, Peter, between 1989 and 2002.


Some audio tapes of conference presentations, speeches, interviews and events featuring Martin Glaberman, C. L. R. James, George Rawick, Ken Cockrel and the Detroit branches of the Black Panthers and the Republic of New Africa have been placed in the Archives Audiovisual Collection along with a few photographs, especially of retail workers' strikes, meetings and social events.

A number of books as well as issues of Outlet, an Antiguan opposition newspaper edited by James follower, Tim Hector, and The Fourth International have been transferred to the Archives Library. Inventory at the end of the guide.

Processing History

Part I: Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in August 1983.
Part II: Part 2 processed and finding aid updated in 2007.
Guide to the Martin and Jessie Glaberman Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA