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Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Oral Histories

 Collection
Identifier: LOH002212
Collection consists of recordings of 45 interviews conducted with various CBTU members. Transcripts are available for the Dennis Serrette and William Simons interviews. Participants discuss their childhood and family life, educational background, work history, union involvement, and CBTU activities. All interviews were videorecorded on Hi8 (many spanning more than one cassette), except for the Doreen Robinson interview, which was recorded on audiocassette.
Interviews were conducted with the following participants, alone or in groups, and sometimes both. Union affiliation is listed where known: General Baker (CBTU, TULC, DRUM), John Bartlett (CBTU, UAW Local 933), Sidney Brooks, Willie Baker and Marian Garth-Saffold (interviewed together), Anthony (Tony) Brown (CBTU, CSEA Local 403), Clayola Brown (CBTU, NAACP, UNITE HERE), Rudolph Bruce, Antonio Christian (CBTU, IBT), Bernice Daniel, for Lucius Daniel founder of TULC (CBTU, TULC), Jim Davis, Joe Davis (CBTU, UAW), Rose Daylie and (Billie) Jean Hervey (interviewed together), Alfred "Al" Edden, Marian Garth-Saffold (CBTU, AFSCME), Portia Given, "Brother" Nathan Head (CBTU, UAW), Tony Hill and Mary Jones (interviewed together), Leamon Hood (AFSCME), Henry McCoy (interviewed together), Kathleen Jackson, Liz Jackson (CBTU, TULC), Dottie Jones (CBTU, UAW), Harold Jones, Dwight Kirk, Josephine LeBeau and Gwend Johnson (interviewed together), Cordelia Lewis-Burks, William Lucy, Mujahid B. Majeed, Robert Massey, Harriet Ivory Means, for Marcellius Ivory (UAW), Oliver Montgomery, Lou Moyle, James E. Orange, Anita Patterson, Ron Reliford, Kenneth L. Riley (CBTU, ILA Local 1422), Doreen Robinson and friends (about Cleveland “Cleve” Robinson), Willie Clifford Robinson (CBTU), Harold Rogers and Nat LaCour (interviewed together), Dennis Serrette, William Simons, Robert Simpson (CBTU, Teamsters), Robert Simpson and Robert Wilson (interviewed together), Dorothy Townsend, Evelyna U. Washington, Addie Wyatt (UFCW, Amalgamated Meat Cutters Union), and Shirley Yates (CBTU).

Dates

  • 2001 - 2010

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.

The following 16 interviews may not be published, copied, or directly quoted from without the permission of the interviewee: John Bartlett, Anthony (Tony) Brown, Clayola Brown, Antonio Christian, Bernice Daniel, Joe Davis, General Baker, Harriet Ivory Means, Nathan Head, Liz Jackson, Dwight Kirk, Anita Patterson, Kenneth L. Riley, Dennis Serrette, Addie Wyatt, and Shirley Yates.

Extent

2.5 Linear Feet ((1 MB, 2 OS). ) : Consists of 2 printed transcripts, 70 Hi8 videocassettes, 2 VHS videocassettes, and 51 audiocassettes.

1.49 Gigabytes ((5 files). ) : Consists of WAVs and a PDF.

Abstract

Carrolyn Davis, a past Reuther archivist, served as the library's liaison to the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), an organization founded in 1972 committed to using political action and union organizing campaigns to increase black participation and influence in the labor movement and insure social and economic progress for working people and the poor. In Davis' role as CBTU liaison, she conducted a series of oral histories for the organization, an ongoing project that ran from 2001 through 2010, with additional contributions by Reuther archivist and labor historian Mike Smith. Collection consists of recordings of 45 interviews conducted with various CBTU members. Transcripts are available for the Dennis Serrette and William Simons interviews. Participants discuss their childhood and family life, educational background, work history, union involvement, and CBTU activities.

History

Carrolyn Davis, a past Reuther archivist, served as the library's liaison to the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), an organization founded in 1972 committed to using political action and union organizing campaigns to increase black participation and influence in the labor movement and insure social and economic progress for working people and the poor. In Davis' role as CBTU liaison, she conducted a series of oral histories for the organization, an ongoing project that ran from 2001 through 2010, with additional contributions by Reuther archivist and labor historian Mike Smith.

Arrangement

The collection is divided into transcripts, video recordings, and audio recordings. Transcripts and recordings are organized alphabetically by interviewee last name.

Custodial History

An alternate name for the collection is "CBTU Oral Histories."

Acquisition

Donated by Carrolyn Davis, Walter P. Reuther Library, in batches over the span of the project, 2001-2010, with additions by Mike Smith, Walter P. Reuther Library.

Copies

The William Simons transcript was digitized and is available as a PDF file. A corresponding paper copy with additional handwritten corrections is available. Audio-only duplicates of some of the video recordings were made on audiocassette. A copy of the Dwight Kirk interview is available on VHS videotape.
51 audio cassettes of some of the original Hi8 video recordings are available. Some, in particular, those recorded at the 2004 CBTU convention in Atlanta, suffer from sound quality issues and are difficult to understand.
Digital audio copies exist for the following interviews: Leamon Hood and Henry McCoy, William Lucy, Dennis Serrette, Rev. James E. Orange.

Related Materials

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Records

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Rebecca Bizonet on April 18, 2016.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Oral Histories
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Rebecca Bizonet
Date
2016-04-18
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:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA