Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

September 29, 1934

On September 29, 1934, the Baltimore Afro-American reported on the end of one of the largest labor strikes in U.S. history. On Labor Day in 1934, almost 10,000 textile workers marched in a parade in Gastonia, North Carolina. Twenty thousand textile mill workers walked off the job, and the strike spread quickly to the Northeast and Midwest. In total, over 400,000 textile workers participated in the twenty-two day strike.  

The Afro-American article quoted Francis Gorman, chairman of the strike committee, who praised the participation of African-American workers in the strike: “There were about 50,000 colored textile workers who participated in the strike and the entire number cooperated with us splendidly. They took instructions and followed them to the letter and throughout the strike showed a spirit of willingness to cooperate to the limit. The strike committee appreciates that fact...The colored workers will now resume their tasks like all the rest, at $12 per week for a 40 hour week.”

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