Saturday, December 23, 2017

Meet Railroad Generations

This year I encountered Railroad Generations.  Their goal is to become the largest social organization for African American transportation workers. I was amazed at how many people, throughout the world, have a railroad story. I made posts to their Facebook page and re-posted what I shared below.

RE: A. Philip Randolph (Published on Facebook December 15, 2017)


"At the banquet table of nature there are no reserved seats. You get what you can take, and you keep what you can hold. If you can’t take anything, you won’t get anything; and if you can’t hold anything, you won’t keep anything. And you can’t take anything without organization.”
A. Philip Randolph







RE: The Warmth of Other Suns (Published on Facebook December 19, 2017)


"The Warmth of Other Suns" is a book by Isabelle Wilkerson and is a great read. It tells the lives of African Americans during the time of what many now call 'The Great Migration.' What's important is that the book shows how important the railroad was for African American families in moving from towns filled with violence, hatred, racism and abuses.

Here is a list of the awards the book has been given:

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER
LYNTON HISTORY PRIZE WINNER
HEARTLAND AWARD WINNER

If you can only read one chapter of this book, you will not be sorry!



RE: From Superman to Man (Published on Facebook December 23, 2017)


The history of the railroad and the life of the Pullman porter can also be seen in another book classic titled "From Superman to Man" by Joel Augustus (J.A.) Rogers. This book earned respect worldwide for the hard work of African American women and men on the railroad.

Pullman porters were known and respected for decades for being well read as well as well traveled. Literacy was high among African Americans in the early 20th century especially among Pullman porters.

The standard book description states: 

"Joel Augustus Roger's seminal work, this novel first published in 1917 is a polemic against the ignorance that fuels racism. The central plot revolves around a debate between a Pullman porter and a white racist Southern politician."

Another review mentions:

"A fearless and penetrating discussion of America’s Greatest Problem The most debated points of the race question as the relative mentality, physical and facial beauty, sex instinct, chastity, odor, truthfulness, health, honesty, of negro and Caucasian; as well as politics, the slavery of white people in Colonial America and elsewhere, intermarriage, religion ancient Negro civilization, race attraction and repulsion, lynching and other aspects all scientifically dealt with in an interesting argument between a southern United Sates Senator with pronounced views and a polished, well-educated, universally traveled Negro when the two happen to meet under peculiar circumstances." (Source: The Amazon Book Review).

Rogers died in 1966 and in his lifetime he belonged to the Paris (France) Society for Anthropology, American Geographical Society, and the Academy of Political Science; in addition, he was also multilingual, mastering German, Italian, French, and Spanish. He had no formal education. (Source: Blackpast.org).


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