Labor movements have been around for decades now, and they have grown over time to present a strong voice when it comes to worker conditions and pay. What cannot be seen though, is the struggle that came with the formation of unions. In Memphis in March 1937, there were a many of events that stunned the town that would forever change the landscape of unionization. This period, which was also marred by widespread racial segregation, was defining in the formation of unions in later years. The strikes, organizations, and the strong opposition of governments and the economic climate contributed immensely to the formation of worker rights movements.
Figure 1 : Ida Sledge
Ida Sledge was a workers’ activist, well-known for her defiance of authorities when she was instructed to leave Tupelo for Memphis 1 . She had gone to Wellesley College, women's liberal arts college in Boston to receive her higher education 2 . Ida began to work for the ILGWU in Baltimore and then they sent her down to Mississippi, because she originally from Mississippi 3 . She was identified as a twenty-eight-year-old lady who was at the forefront of union awareness and defense. She was originally from Memphis, and was described as a society girl, being a very active organizer of the International Ladies Workers Union 4 . This union was a branch of the Congress of Industrialized Organization, which had numerous followers who were spotted to be in solidarity with Sledge in her actions. Ida was noted as having a laid-back demeanor, even in the face of pressure, to never relent on her quest to champion labor unionization and other worker rights 5 .
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Ida Sledge was an organizer of the International Ladies’ Garments Workers’ Union 6 . She was very active in the activities of this Congress of Industrialized Organizations, which was given recognition by the business men in Memphis as well as the local government of her day. At the time, the government had been increasingly allied with business owners to hinder any attempts at unionization 7 . “We are not going to have any CIO nigger unions in Memphis. They can do what they want in Detroit, Chicago and New York City, but we aren’t not going to have it in Memphis” openly announced by Ed Crump 8 . Also at the time, and especially in 1937, in the wake of Jim Crow laws and the use of racial segregation to weaken inter-racial union efforts, unions were finding it hard to incorporate African Americans into their makeups 9 . The black community, which represented approximately 40% of the 300,000-labor force, would have been beneficial to the call for unionization 10 .
It is following this regard that the International Ladies’ Workers Union emerged in Memphis, with a fairly integrated mix of workers from both races. The notable march of workers that occurred on the 8 th of March 1937 caused waves within the political landscape, and it was the fruit of worker union efforts in the quest for higher pay. This strike was conducted predominantly by workers were comprised of women. Ida Sledge was deemed one of the greatest influences in the activities that were conducted by ILGWU.
Figure 2 : Merle Zappone, Head of ILGWU
The Labor movement in Memphis in 1937 was characterized by many events that shaped the landscape of unionization for good. Notable unionists rose to lead the labor movements, some of the unionists were women working in the garment industry like Merle Zappone. Merle Zappone worked as a machine operator in a garment factory, but was radicalized by the union strikes 11 . As a garment factory worker, Zappone had a first-hand experience of the challenges faced by women workers due to lack of unionization. She was underpaid, overworked in an unsafe environment, and she was easily dispensable like most garment women workers. She was eventually inspired to join other unionists with the hope of improving conditions and pay for women’s labor in San Antonio, and later in Memphis.
Zappone became one of the most influential members of the International Ladies Garments Workers Union (ILGWU). Zappone was the organizer for the union, and was responsible for bringing together women garment workers, organizing and coordinating various strikes against garment factory owners who refused to grant unionization to women workers. Zappone organized a number of strikes, for instance, the strike against Shirlee Frocks Inc. on 25 th March 1937, and the strike against Nona-Lee Dress Co. Plant 12 .
Zappone’s role as the union organizer was quite challenging. Before joining ILGWU, Zappone was a machine operator and she traded her simple life for the challenge of fighting for women’s rights. Her involvement in ILGWU affected her
personal life too. Mary Zappone’s husband filed for divorce, citing her involvement in ILGWU as the reason 13 . Don Zappone claimed that his wife’s activities in the ILGWU caused him humiliation; the couple was officially separated on the 16 th January, 1937. Due to her public role in ILGWU, Zappone’s divorce made it to the local news.
It is worth mentioning that ILGWU activities officially began in 1933 in San Antonio. The group grew slowly because recruiting women to join the movement was hard; dutiful wives and daughters refused to join the movement without their husbands’ and fathers’ approval. What differentiated Zappone from other union members is that she joined the union on her own accord after many years of working in a garment factory 14 . Zappone believed in the cause and her popularity led to her role as the San Antonia ILGWU organizer. Organizing ILGWU activities was challenging, in the early days, the union lacked enough members, but later on inspiring women to engage in strikes was much harder. Between 1934- 1935, Zappone worked together with Rebecca Taylor to recruit garment women workers to the union from the A.B. Franks and the Halff garment factory. Many women workers joined the union, only for A.B. Franks to be closed and the Halff garment factory started manufacturing men’s garments after the firm had been unionized to avoid fulfilling ILGWU terms.
There were other notable strike-related setbacks that affected Zappone’s work. Garment workers who joined the union were dismissed immediately by their employer. The courts also sided with the garment factory owners on numerous occasions by giving injunctions to the factory to prevent garment workers from engaging in ILGWU strikes 15 . Union members including Zappone were arrested severally. In the 1936 strike against Dorothy Frocks Company, fourteen garment workers were arrested and tried for violating the terms of an injunction 16 .
Figure 3 : San Antonio Garment Workers in jail during 1936 general strike (Merle Zappone in front)
They were given sentences of one to ten days in prison, and a fine of $100 to $250. Nona-Lee Dress Co. Plant also pursued legal action against Zappone for inciting garment workers, but Chancellor L.D. Bejach ruled in favor of Zappone that the defendant could not be arrested twice for the same offense. This showed that on certain occasions the courts also supported the union’s activities.
Zappone welcomed Mexican women and other minorities by forging alliance between Mexican garment workers and the union. Zappone commented that “We will not discriminate against the girls who joined the union 17 .” Unlike white women, Mexican and African American women faced more work problems due to discrimination in the society. They were underpaid, discriminated. San Antonia ILGWU had a bilingual organizer to attract Mexican women.
Zappone’s history in San Antonio’s ILGWU influenced her activities in Memphis. It equipped her with skills for bringing in new members, organizing skills and different methods of strikes 18 . When Zappone arrived in Memphis, she found an ILGWU in place. Unionists like Ida Sledge had organized meetings, peaceful protests and strikes for union members working in different sectors. She joined the movement, and she was in charge of the garment workers. Her skills from her previous role in San Antonia ILGWU came in handy, and soon Zappone made the headlines by organizing strikes in Memphis. The strike against Noma-Lee became one of the momentous strikes in ILGWU history in Memphis.
On the 26 th March, 1937, Zappone led other garment women workers in a peaceful protest against Noma-Lee Dress Co. Plant but they were stopped by the police. This did not stop Zappone and the other union members from protesting, some of them were beaten and even stripped by the police and groups against the protest 19 . In Memphis, Zappone became the face of the ILGWU because of the experiences with ILGWU, garment factories and the law in San Antonio. In Memphis, Zappone was not afraid to break the law or any negative public judgment because she had experienced it in San Antonio.
Zappone’s activities in Memphis supported the work of Ida Sledge. Ida Sledge was the organizer of the ILGWU in Memphis. She was active in the activities of the Congress of Industrialized Organizations (CIO) because she came from a wealthy family, unlike Zappone. The fact that both Zappone and Ida Sledge came from different backgrounds meant that their combined efforts could bring together women from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Zappone and Sledge share the same values about women workers in the garment factories; they both wanted better pay and improved bargaining power. Zappone had experience with factory work, and Sledge’s activities in the CIO improved the bargaining power of the union.
Zappone and Sledge shared other opinions on the way forward for ILGWU in Memphis. They believed that members should be treated equally regardless of their ethnic background. Ed Crump had denounced unions, particularly those that admitted African Americans. Crump, the son of a former slave owner, did not believe the African Americans were equal with whites. African Americans represented 40% of the work force, and they were exploited 20 . With the help of Sledge and Zappone, many African American garment workers took to the streets to protest and demand for unionization.
Evidently, Zappone encountered a lot of personal and professional hurdles as the organizer of ILGWU, but she remained relentless. She helped female garment workers achieve some of their goals, but ILGWU’s activities in Memphis were thwarted by Ed Crump’s leadership.
Lucy Randolph Mason, was an important in the labor movement was. She was born on July 26, 1882. She was one among the five offspring of Reverend Landon and Lucy Mason 21 . Being a descendant of such a renowned family, she was related to John Marshall, George Mason and Robert Lee. Reverend Mason was a man with strong common beliefs which he passed on to his daughter. Lucy Mason schooled in one of Richmond’s most elite girl schools. She later worked briefly with the Richmond Young Women Christian Association as a legal stenographer and later on went to become its secretary in 1914. In 1923, Lucy was appointed as the general secretary of the group. This saw her make considerable changes in empowering the lives of young, black and white women through development of a range of ground-breaking programs. 1932 saw Lucy appointed the general secretary of National Consumer league. This prompted her move to New York. Within this period of time, Lucy met First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. From their first meeting, Lucy and Eleanor Roosevelt bonded and their relationship materialized to a lifelong friendship.
At NCL, Lucy became an expert in industrial difficulties and this saw her become the firms labor activist. Communal bargaining for the public earned her the title of public advocate. Her profound skills were then noticed by the head of Congress of Industrial Organizations, John L. Lewis. In 1937, Lewis offered Lucy the job of public relations, Southeast representative. This was before the start of industrial unions in the south. Although based in Atlanta, she had the freedom of touring and going throughout the Southern area. Communities in the South were hostile to worker’s unions. This was the major reason why Lewis chose Mason for that position. He knew her drive and focus would get the people to listen to her. Lucy spent most of her time pushing for the legislation of social-welfare and labor rights. Her aim was to improve the conditions workers, worked and lived in, in the South. That was “the Nation's Number One economic problem” according to the National Emergency Council 22 . Her fight saw the wages and conditions improve substantially. She was conscious of the complications and hurdles she was going to face but still remained optimistic. Lucy was bitter and disappointed of the social, economic and racial problems in the South. Having originated from the South, she was proud but distressed by the fact that nobody from the South was willing to speak and stand out on the labor atrocities that were happening. She was not discouraged by the hostility and disdains the people of the South had towards her because of what she stood for and believed in. She boldly spoke before church groups, social worker conventions, civic clubs and in universities and college classrooms. She was readily available to stand and defend members of the union whenever they were mishandled by officials or the police. In such circumstances, she helped bring out human rights and civil violations right in front of the whole nation.
Lucy would always go to the White House to speak and present her side of the labor conflicts to the first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. They were very close and Mason always considered Eleanor as the “the first lady of the world”. Mason was involved and worked with the major organizations that helped transform the South to a place where racial, social and economic justice was practiced. The Southern Summer School for Women Workers, the Southern Policy Committee, the Southern Conference for Human Welfare and the Southern Regional Council, were some of the key organizations that Mason had worked with. In 1953, Mason resigned from her post at the CIO. She passed away on May 6, 1959, in Atlanta, Georgia. Throughout her life, she portrayed the characters of integrity, courage and idealism. These were what made her known and loved.
Figure 4 Edward Crump (Boss Crimp)
Edward Crump was a former slave master’s son that had grown to fame largely because of his business exploits. Starting as an insurance executive and later a realtor, he went on to become a mayor of Memphis. His stab at public office was exacerbated by his extensive connections, which warranted him the power to award leadership to his cronies. His vast political and business connections would come in handy later on during his dealings with union workers and in overseeing business activities in Memphis. He single-handedly controlled a machinery that intimidated and thwarted all efforts at unionization and worker cohesion 23 . Under his watch, the working condition of unskilled whites and blacks was at an all-time low. These workers were greatly neglected and exposed to low wages, long working periods, and injury rates with no reprieve whatsoever 24 .
Any attempts at strikes and unionization were met with ruthlessness and intimidation, largely orchestrated by Boss Crump himself 25 . These underhand dealings at some point would have painted the town’s leadership in the wrong light. Boss Crump, being astute in this regard, formed puppet unions, controlled by the leadership to show a non-existent policy on unions 26 . A notable case was seen in the agreement to see, Firestone set up shop in the town. Crump had struck a deal with the company, promising cheap workforce and no disturbances from unions 27 . The union that would be on the receiving end was the United Auto Workers Union, which had been planning to commence mass action in the area. Their organizer, Norman Smith, was cornered and brutally assaulted by unidentified goons. These goons were known to have been directly in communication with the government. A local union leader and advocate, Ben McCullough, also faced the same fate in the period before Mr. Smith was to arrive in Memphis 28 .
Following these incidents, the UAW an affiliate of the Congress of industrial Organizations cancelled the planned meetings and got Smith out of Memphis 29 . The police commissioner later made a statement vowing to deal with any elements that showed signs of unionization in Memphis. He referred to them as foreign agitators who were out to enslave the people of Memphis 30 . This statement was very misleading of the situation on the ground. The aim was to get unions out of the way to create the haven that had been promised to Firestone. It is after this that they commenced on a quest to form a policy to govern workers and union activity in Memphis.
Another aspect of Crump’s administration is the fact that they looked down upon the black community. The police commissioner, Clifford Davis at the time was a loyal member of the Ku Klux Klan, and took pleasure in thwarting any efforts by African Americans to unionize or fight for their rights. The Crump machine as it was referred to at the time, had largely succeeded in thwarting any African American uprising in Memphis. Referred to also as the ‘the boss of all things’ in Shelby County and Memphis, Crump had succeeded in intimidating the blacks into submission and servitude 31 . His modus operandi was no different from the plantation mentality of a master and the docile slave. By 1940, Crump had become boisterous and confident that he had been largely successful 32 . He boasted that unions and their antics could operate in other towns, including Chicago and New York, but Memphis would not tolerate such nonsense.
At the end of the day, Boss Crump emerged as an advocate of fear for the rebellious African American worker. In places where fear was insufficient, the Crump machine, police department and his cronies resorted to subtle wooing the low wage white American 33 . They made it look like the black workers were constantly on their own. These tactics led most black leaders to join Crump or risk being crushed to oblivion 34 . This explains the nature of the strike that would later be conducted by a group of African American Bruce Lumber Mill workers on the 9 th of March, 1937.
Figure 5 : 1937: E.L Bruce Lumber Company in Memphis.
The strike that was organized by hundred African American workers right after the ILGWU’s was one that really caught the town by surprise 35 . For a long time, the Black work force had been considered docile and submissive to their employers and thusly unable to unionize and fight for their rights. Right after the women’s strikes, organized partially by Ida Sledge, two hundred workers of the E.L Bruce Lumber Company on Thomas Street downed their tools in Memphis in an unusual spectacle of solidarity 36 . Their main grievances comprised of low pay and they were demanding an increase of pay to five cents per hour from a measly amount, the two and a half cents they had been paid the previous day 37 . The most notable aspect of the African American strikes was that they were presented as leaderless and non-unionized. According to C. Arthur Bruce, vice president in charge of operations “The striking negroes do not have a union” 38 . Plant were completely shut down for two days and Bruce most of workers who went on a strike for increased wages showed up for work March 12. According to Mr. Bruce “the department is running on a two-thirds schedule and within the next several days will be operating full blast.” 39
This period was a volatile one especially for the deviant African American worker. Amidst Jim Crow laws and the deep-seated Ku Klux Klan, there was great opposition against the black workers 40 . The leaders of these organizations even made attempts to endear the lowly paid white workers who had the same grievances as their black counterparts to keep them out of unions. The relief or change came when IGLWU organized strikes in Memphis, championing for the rights of both white and black workers 41 . This event is said to have had a direct impact on the black workers prompting them to go on strike and air out their grievances too. When asked for whomever it is they were representing or which workers’ union they were a part of, they blatantly declined to answer the question, opting to instead express their inability to organize a union successfully 42 . Rise in strikes and Black activists saw America’s first terrorist organization, the Klu Klax Klan, come back into the picture. This time it was even worse as it was led by Memphis police commissioner, Clifford Davis. Being a racist group, it was said that 70 percent of Memphis police force belonged to the Klu Klax Klan. 1930s saw no black officer in the Memphis police force and they suffered a lot in the hands of white policemen. Ed Crump was on the forefront to stopping the atrocities and he did this by standing up against the white supremacists and also trying to strengthen trade unions in Memphis. Crump was able to help create many jobs that employed both white and black Americans and saw both races being equally treated. These people were greatly thankful to Crump. He helped them support their families by also advocating for the increase in the labor wages.
The period also saw many Americans and African Americans alike suffer for the luck of jobs and better pay. One of the most affected groups of people were the Black Americans in Memphis. They worked for very low wages and in harsh environments. Some subjected to mishandling and abuse from officials and the police. Most of them had been removed from their unskilled jobs and numbers showed that over 50 percent of Black people were unemployed. Those employed were being paid wages 30 percent lower than that paid to white workers. Being a hard time, the white’s workers were having a hard time sustaining their families with what they earned which meant the Blacks were having it much worse. The Blacks did not have faith in Roosevelt’s administration and saw National Recovery act as a tool to undermine and enslave them. This was because it did not stand for what it preached as its projects rarely put Blacks on payroll. Corporations such as E. L. Bruce Lumber despised its black workers and they really suffered under white supremacist’s management.
The events that occurred in Memphis in 1937 were defining in the history of labor movements. Apart from the overlying issues that included workers’ grievances and the need to organize, there were overtones of inequality and racial segregation in government and in the public sector. On the dress manufacturing strike front, the Members of International Ladies Garments Workers Union were confronted new obstacles. Mrs. Marrle Zappone, organizer reported that Chancellor Bajach postponed the contempt hearing against the officials of the ILGWU. 43 The events that took place indicate the struggle and what it took to initiate a movement that would later succeed due to persistence and natural enlightenment that comes with time. Later, W.B. Rosenfield, attorney for the Kuhn Manufacturing Company Mrs. Zappone that they was making plans to reopen, and if there had been a truce, it was ended. “We will not discriminate against the girls who joined the union.” 44 On the other hand, the boldness of Ida Sledge and the other members of the International Ladies Garments Workers Union was quite effective in giving the black Americans the courage to assemble 45 . The attempts by the CIO and the UAW reveal the amount of difficulty union leaders underwent in their quest to improve the conditions of workers in Memphis. It is apparent that w omen were also not spared by the great depression as back then they were still seen as inferior beings. This meant they were not hired easily or if hired, their pay was very low. Lucy Mason was on the frontline to change all this and with the help of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, they were able to conflict with the dominant male specie which ended up by women being able to land jobs and have good wages. Other women like Ida Sledge and Merle Zappone also played a huge role in fighting for women’s rights during this trying time in American history. They were able to strengthen ties of trade union with the Memphis society, fighting against both white and black women discrimination in matters of labor and hire
The opposing forces to change and improved conditions for workers were seen in the Crump machine. While there were movements all over the country championing for workers’ rights, Memphis was the town that was arguably the most resistant. The stubbornness of Crump was the incentive that lead Firestone to establish a plant in Memphis 46 . What is unclear though is the effect of economic and political occurrences on this state of things. The country was undergoing the Depression and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s government was struggling to stabilize a country that had been brought to its knees. Companies that had been severely affected by the depression were cutting jobs and more and more people were out of work. This environment was not, given the state of the nation, ideal for worker insurrections and the demand for better pay 47 .
While this increased the resolve of the government and the companies to prevent any organizations, it also had a great effect on the workers. One moment they had a job, and the next they found themselves out of work following their employers going under. These events discouraged any efforts to organize and unionize since a worker that did not have work had nothing to fight for anymore in a trade union. Despite these struggles, the unions would in later years succeed in organizing. The International Ladies Garments Workers’ union would grow and operate for over fifty years before merging with other labor groups at the turn of the century.
The great depression and other events in 1937 represented tough times for labor unions and egalitarian activists 48 . In the wake of great opposition and harsh economic climate it seemed like they were bound to fail. It took courage and heart especially for the women to brave the hostile environment and stand for workers’ rights. In these events, the impact of women in both improvement of working conditions and racial equality was seen quite clearly. Ida Sledge, and allied union members in their quest for better conditions set the stage for future liberation of workers from the bondage of servitude under dire conditions.
Atkins, Joe. Covering for the Bosses: Labor and the Southern Press. Démocratique Communique , 2006, pp. 25-45.
Biles, Roger. “Ed crump versus the unions: The labor movement in Memphis during the 1930s”. Labor History , 1984, pp. 533-552.
Biles, Roger. “The Urban South in the Great Depression”. The Journal of Southern History , 1990, pp. 71-100.
Fones-Wolf, Elizabeth and Fones-Wolf, Ken. “Sanctifying the Southern Organizing Campaign: Protestant Activists in the CIO's Operation Dixie”. Labor , pp. 5-32.
Green, Elna. C. Before the New Deal: Social Welfare in the South, 1830-1930 . Georgia: University of Georgia Press. 1991
Green, Laurie Beth. Battling the Plantation Mentality: Memphis and the Black Freedom Struggle . University of North Carolina press, 2009.
Gritter, Elizabeth. “River of Hope: Black Politics and the Memphis Freedom Movement, 1865–1954”. The American historical review , 2015, pp. 633-634.
Goldfield, Michael. “Race and the CIO: The Possibilities for Racial Egalitarianism During the 1930s and 1940s”. ILWCH , 1993. Retrieved from < https://libcom.org/files/raceciomain.pdf>
Haberland, Michelle. Striking Beauties: Women Apparel Workers in the U.S. South, 1930-2000 . University of Georgia Press, 2005.
Harris, Alice-Kessler. “Organizing the Unorganizable: Three Jewish women and their union”. Labor History , pp. 5-23.
Honey, Michael. “Operation Dixie: Labor and Civil Rights in the Postwar South”. Mississippi Quarterly , pp.439.
Honey, Michael. Southern Labor and Black Civil Rights: Organizing Memphis Workers . University of Illinois Press, 1993.
Honey, Michael. “The Popular Front in the American South: The View from Memphis”. International Labor and Working-Class History , 1986, pp.44-58.
Jones, William Powell. The Tribe of Black Ulysses: African American Lumber Workers in the Jim Crow South . University of Illinois Press, 2005.
Kingsport times. “Organizer Goes Back to Tupelo”. Kingsport Tennessee , Sun July 11 1937.
Kingsport times. “Leaderless strikers refuse to return”. Kingsport Tennessee, Tue March 9 1937.
Nelson, Bruce. “Class, Race, and Democracy in the CIO: The "New" Labor History Meets the "Wages of Whiteness". International Review of Social History , Vol 41, 1996, pp.351-374.
Nelson, Daniel. Managers and Nonunion Workers in the Rubber Industry: Union Avoidance Strategies in the 1930s. ILR Review , 1989, pp. 41 – 52
Salmond, John. “Lucy Randolph Mason (1882–1959),” Encyclopedia Virginia . Accessed 28 Apr. 2017 http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Mason_Lucy_Randolph_1882-1959#start_entry
Strub, Whitney. “Black and White and Banned All Over: Race, Censorship, and Obscenity in Postwar Memphis”. Journal of Social History , 2007, pp. 685-715.
"Ask Higher Wages." Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg ), March 10, 1937.
Biles, Roger. "Ed crump versus the unions: The labor movement in Memphis during the 1930s." Labor History 25, no. 4 (1984): 533-52. doi:10.1080/00236568408584775.
Biles, Roger. Memphis in the Great Depression . Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1986.
"Chrysler Asks Injunctions ." The Greenwood Commonwealth (Greenwood ), March 10, 1937.
Honey, Michael K. Southern labor and Black civil rights: organizing Memphis workers . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993.
Jones, William Powell. The tribe of black Ulysses: African American lumber workers in the Jim Crow south . Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 2005.
"Labor." Corsicana Daily Sun (Corsicana), March 10, 1937.
"Leaderless Strikers Refuse to Return ." Kingsport Times (Tennessee ), March 09, 1937. Microform.
"Lewis Green Continue War Over Workers." Cumberland Evening Times (Cumberland, Maryland), March 10, 1937.
Melton, Scott. "Unmasking Jim Crow: Unorganized Strikes by African-American Workers in Memphis During 1937." West Tennessee Historical Society Papers 1947-2010 , 1996, 1-16. 1996. Accessed February 10, 2017. http://register.shelby.tn.us/imgView.php?imgtype=pdf&id=50wth825.tif.
Miller, William D. Mr. Crump of Memphis . Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1981.
"Other Strikes ." The Lincoln Star (Lincoln ), March 10, 1937.
"Packers Boost Pay." Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, the Evening News , March 10, 1937. Accessed March 10, 1937.
"Strikes Still Dot Industrial Map of Nation." Rushville Republican (Rushville), March 10, 1937.
"Unions Sets Aims For New Goals In Oil, Textiles ." Kingsport Times (Kingsport, Tennessee (Kingsport), March 10, 1937.
"Win Increase, Ask Another." The New York Times , March 10, 1937.
"175 Employes Make Plea for Higher Pay." The Commercial Appeal - Memphis, March 10, 1937.
"Bruce Mill Workers Force Plant Shutdown." The Commercial Appeal - Memphis, March 10, 1937.
"Bruce Strikers Back On Job." The Commercial Appeal - Memphis, March 12, 1937.
"Crisis Expected Today In Furniture Strike." The Commercial Appeal - Memphis, March 15, 1937.
"Memphis will send Delegates on Flood." The Commercial Appeal - Memphis, March 04, 1937.
"Steel Prices Raised $3 to $8 Ton to pay for wage increase." The Commercial Appeal - Memphis, March 04, 1937.
"Strikes Are Ordered On Two New Fronts." The Commercial Appeal - Memphis, April 02, 1937.
"Textile Union Opens Organization in Dixie." The Commercial Appeal - Memphis, April 05, 1937.
Biles, Roger. “Ed crump versus the unions: The labor movement in Memphis during the 1930s”. Labor History, 1984, pp. 533-552.
"Clothing Stripped from Girls in Riot." The Indianapolis Star, March 26, 1937.
"Fifteen Workers Charged Contempt of Court Jailed." Corsicana Daily Sun (Corsicana, Texas (Corsicana, Texas), August 13, 1936.
"Fifteen Workers Charged Contempt of Court Jailed." Corsicana Semi-Weekly Light (Corsicana, Texas), August 14, 1936.
"Four to Face Trial for Assault." The San Antonio Light, June 8, 1937.
"Garment Union Asks Police Aids." SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS, November 26, 1936.
"ILGWU Court Battles at Memphis Continues." Women's Wear Daily, April 8, 1937.
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"Plant Opens with Police on Guard." Kingsport Times, March 29, 1937.
"Strike Contempt Action Dismissed." The Nashville Tennessean, April 6, 1936.
"Wife's Union Works Brings Divorce Plea." The San Antonio Light, April 13, 1937.
"Strikes Brooks Out In San Antonio." The Corpus Christi Caller-Times, May 25, 1937.
"Garment Workers Strike, Demand Union Recognition." The Vernon Daily Record (Vernon, Texas), May 26, 1937.
Hield, Melissa, Glenn Scott, Maria Flores, Richard Croxdale, and Lauren Rabinovitz. "Union-Minded": Women in the Texas ILGWU, 1933-50." Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 4, no. 2 (1979): 59-70. doi:10.2307/3346542.
1 Kingsport times. “Organizer Goes Back to Tupelo”. Kingsport Tennessee , Sun July 11 1937.
2 Durr, Virginia Foster, and Hollinger F. Barnard. Outside the magic circle the autobiography of Virginia Foster Durr . Tuscaloosa, Ala.: University of Alabama Press, 1990.
3 VIRGINIA FOSTER DURR. "Interview with Virginia Foster Durr, October 16, 1975. ." Interview by SUE THRASHER.
4 Ibid .
5 Harris, Alice-Kessler. “Organizing the Unorganizable: Three Jewish women and their union”. Labor History , pp. 5
6 Haberland, Michelle. Striking Beauties: Women Apparel Workers in the U.S. South, 1930-2000 . University of Georgia Press, 2005.
7 Jones, William Powell. The Tribe of Black Ulysses: African American Lumber Workers in the Jim Crow South . University of Illinois Press, 2005. pp.12
8 Quote from David M. Tucker, Memphis since Crump: Bassism, Blacks, and Civic Reformers, 1948-4968
9 Gritter, Elizabeth. “River of Hope: Black Politics and the Memphis Freedom Movement, 1865–1954”. The American historical review , Vol 120, No. 2, 2015, pp. 633.
10 Haberland, Michelle. Striking Beauties: Women Apparel Workers in the U.S. South, 1930-2000 . University of Georgia Press, 2005.
11 Blackwelder, Julia Kirk. Women of the Depression: caste and culture in San Antonio, 1929-1939 . College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 1998.
12 Ibid, 139
13 "Wife's Union Works Brings Divorce Plea." The San Antonio Light , April 13, 1937.
14 Blackwelder, Women of the Depression, 137
15 ILGWU Court Battles at Memphis Continues." Women's Wear Daily , April 8, 1937.
16 Haberland, Michelle. “When You Cease To Be Ladies, We Will Arrest You”: Working And Striking In Southern Sewing Rooms, 1934-1970." In Striking Beauties: Women Apparel Workers In The U.S. South, 1930-2000, 32-56. University Of Georgia Press, 2015.
17 Blackwelder, Women of the Depression, 138
18 Hield, Melissa, Glenn Scott, Maria Flores, Richard Croxdale, and Lauren Rabinovitz. "Union-Minded": Women in the Texas ILGWU, 1933-50." Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 4, no. 2 (1979): 59-70
19 "Clothing Stripped from Girls in Riot." The Indianapolis Star , March 26, 1937.
20 Biles, Roger. “Ed crump versus the unions: The labor movement in Memphis during the 1930s”. Labor History , 1984, pp. 533-552.
21 Green, Elna. C. Before the New Deal: Social Welfare in the South, 1830-1930 . Georgia: University of Georgia Press. 1991
22 Salmond, John. “Lucy Randolph Mason (1882–1959),” Encyclopedia Virginia . Accessed 28 Apr. 2017 http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Mason_Lucy_Randolph_1882-1959#start_entry
23 Green, Laurie Beth. Battling the Plantation Mentality: Memphis and the Black Freedom Struggle . University of North Carolina press, 2009. pp.42
24 Fones-Wolf, Elizabeth and Fones-Wolf, Ken. “Sanctifying the Southern Organizing Campaign: Protestant Activists in the CIO's Operation Dixie”. Labor , pp. 5
25 Biles, Roger. “Ed crump versus the unions: The labor movement in Memphis during the 1930s”. Labor History , Vol 25, Issue 4, 1984, pp. 532
26 Ibid. pp. 534
27 Nelson, Daniel. Managers and Nonunion Workers in the Rubber Industry: Union Avoidance Strategies in the 1930s. ILR Review , Vol 43, Issue 1, 1989, pp. 43
28 Biles, Roger. “Ed crump versus the unions: The labor movement in Memphis during the 1930s”. Labor History , Vol 25, Issue 4, 1984, pp. 534
30 Honey, Michael. “The Popular Front in the American South: The View from Memphis”. International Labor and Working-Class History , 1986, pp.46
31 Ibid. pp. 47
32 Biles, Roger. “Ed crump versus the unions: The labor movement in Memphis during the 1930s”. Labor History , Issue 4, 1984, pp. 533.
33 Honey, Michael. “The Popular Front in the American South: The View from Memphis”. International Labor and Working-Class History , No. 30, 1986, pp.47
34 Honey, Michael. “Operation Dixie: Labor and Civil Rights in the Postwar South”. Mississippi Quarterly , pp.439.
35 Harris, Alice-Kessler. “Organizing the Unorganizable: Three Jewish women and their union”. Labor History , Vol 17, Issue 1, pp. 6
36 Strub, Whitney. “Black and White and Banned All Over: Race, Censorship, and Obscenity in Postwar Memphis”. Journal of Social History , 2007, pp. 685
37 Kingsport times. “Leaderless strikers refuse to return”. Kingsport Tennessee , Tue March 9 1937
38 " Bruce Mill Workers Force Plant Shutdown." The Commercial Appeal - Memphis, March 10, 1937.
39 "Bruce Strikers Back On Job." The Commercial Appeal - Memphis, March 12, 1937.
40 Nelson, Bruce. “Class, Race, and Democracy in the CIO: The "New" Labor History Meets the "Wages of Whiteness". International Review of Social History , 1996, pp.351-374.
41 Goldfield, Michael. “Race and the CIO: The Possibilities for Racial Egalitarianism During the 1930s and 1940s”. ILWCH , 1993. Retrieved from < https://libcom.org/files/raceciomain.pdf>
42 Kingsport times. “Leaderless strikers refuse to return”. Kingsport Tennessee , Tue March 9 1937.
43 "Strikes Are Ordered On Two New Fronts." The Commercial Appeal - Memphis, April 02, 1937.
45 Honey, Michael. Southern Labor and Black Civil Rights: Organizing Memphis Workers . University of Illinois Press, 1993. pp.18
46 Nelson, Daniel. Managers and Nonunion Workers in the Rubber Industry: Union Avoidance Strategies in the 1930s. ILR Review , Vol 43, Issue 1, 1989, pp. 41.
47 Biles, Roger. “The Urban South in the Great Depression”. The Journal of Southern History , Vol 56, No. 1, 1990, pp. 71
48 Atkins, Joe. Covering for the Bosses: Labor and the Southern Press. Démocratique Communique , 2006, pp. 25.