Railroads in the African American experience : a photographic journey / Theodore Kornweibel, Jr.
- Kornweibel, Theodore
- Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 
- Copyright Date:
- Physical Description:
- xxii, 557 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Full Text available online
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- "Negroes will do more work" : slavery and the dawn of Southern railroading -- "A steel driving man" : construction and track laborers -- "With his strong arm and a shovel" : African American locomotive firemen -- "A lesson to all nigger brakemen" : black trainmen fight for survival -- "The world's most perfect servant" : the pullman porters' struggle for dignity -- "To represent the best in colored" : train porters, porter-brakemen, railroad ferry, and steamship porters, and RPO clerks -- "Capable of working in any fine restaurant" : dining car cooks and waiters -- "A gracious and obliging gentleman" : red caps and other station personnel -- "Too d--- much for a negro to have" : in the shops, freight houses, and offices -- "Not at all proper for women" : black female railroaders -- "One big happy family" : the communal life of black railroaders -- "Nobody ride but de chocolate to de bone" : Jim Crow segregation -- Farewell : "we're good and gone" : the railroads and black migration -- "A little black train a-comin'" : railroads in African American music -- "I pick up my life and take it on the train" : railroads in black art and literature -- "He knows his place" : railroads and race.
- "This captivating book takes readers on an illustrated tour of the black railroad experience from slavery to Amtrak. With almost 200 images - many never before published - Theodore Kornweibel, Jr., examines the significant contributions of African Americans to the building, maintenance, operation, and profitability of the American railway system." "The history of American railroads, Kornweibel makes clear, cannot be separated from African American history. For over a century, railroading provided the most important industrial occupation for blacks. Brakemen, firemen, porters, chefs, mechanics, laborers - African American men and women have been essential to the daily operation and success of American railroads. The connections between railroads and African Americans extend well beyond employment. Civilrights protests beginning in the late 19th century challenged railroad segregation and job discrimination; the major waves of black migration to the North depended almost entirely on railroads; and railroad themes and imagery penetrated deep into black art, literature, drama, folklore, and music." "Kornweibel's visual presentation of this rich history brings to life the hundreds of thousands of blacks who toiled for decades on America's great rail systems. Each chapter of text focuses on a different occupation or railroading experience, some peculiar to blacks. Together, the evocative images and the complementary essays supply a comprehensive and powerful survey of the cultural, political, and economic influence of African Americans on railroads and of railroads on the black community." "Few today recall the importance of blacks to the American railroad industry, even though most black families have railroading ancestors. These stories of hardship and heroism, exploitation and endurance, anger and artistry illuminate a rich heritage and fascinating chapter in American history."--BOOK JACKET.
- 9780801891625 (alk. paper)
0801891620 (alk. paper)
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references (pages -) and index.
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