68 episodes

Archivists and researchers at the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs share stories from its collections about the American labor movement, metropolitan Detroit, and Wayne State University.

Tales from the Reuther Library Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University

    • History
    • 5.0 • 18 Ratings

Archivists and researchers at the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs share stories from its collections about the American labor movement, metropolitan Detroit, and Wayne State University.

    “Girls, We Cannot Lose!”: Midwestern Black Women Activists During the Great Depression

    “Girls, We Cannot Lose!”: Midwestern Black Women Activists During the Great Depression

    Dr. Melissa Ford explores the influence of working-class Black women in Detroit, St. Louis, and Cleveland on the development of Black radicalism in the American Midwest during the Great Depression.

    Ford is an associate professor of African American history at Slippery Rock University and author of A Brick and a Bible: Black Women’s Radical Activism in the Midwest during the Great Depression.

    Related Collections:

    Black Workers in the Labor Movement Oral Histories

    Black Workers in the Labor Movement Oral Histories: Joseph and Rose Billups

    Robert W. Dunn Papers

    Maurice Sugar Papers

    Related Resources:

    A Brick and a Bible: Black Women’s Radical Activism in the Midwest during the Great Depression.

    Subject Focus: Ford Hunger March

    1932 Ford Hunger March Image Gallery

    Episode Credits

    Producers: Dan Golodner and Troy Eller English

    Interviewee: Melissa Ford

    Music: Bart Bealmear

    • 49 min
    “No Labor Dictators For Us”: Revisiting Anti-Union Forces in the Flint Sit-Down Strike

    “No Labor Dictators For Us”: Revisiting Anti-Union Forces in the Flint Sit-Down Strike

    While the 1936-1937 Flint Sit-Down is usually viewed as a pivotal success for the UAW, Dr. Gregory Wood considers more closely the influence of anti-union workers and the General Motors-supported Flint Alliance both during and after the strike. Wood is an associate professor and chair of the history department at Frostburg State University. His research will be featured in a forthcoming article in the Michigan Historical Review titled, “’No Labor Dictators for Us’: Anti-Union Workers During the Flint Sit-Down Strikes.”

    Related Collections:

    Henry Kraus Papers

    Flint Auto Worker

    Reuther Library Oral History Collections

    Related Resources:

    Michigan Historical Review

    Subject Focus: Remembering the Flint Sit-Down

    Episode Credits

    Producers: Dan Golodner and Troy Eller English

    Interviewee: Greg Wood

    Music: Bart Bealmear

    • 23 min
    Heard It On the News: Preserving 20th Century Detroit History Through Local Newscasts

    Heard It On the News: Preserving 20th Century Detroit History Through Local Newscasts

    Reuther Library audiovisual archivist Mary Wallace discusses the Library’s WWJ / WDIV Film, Video, and Teleprompter Scripts collection, which captures seven decades of news, current events, politics, and community life as reported by the Detroit news station from the 1920s through 1990s.

    Related Collections:



    WWJ / WDIV Film, Video, and Teleprompter Scripts

    Episode Credits

    Producers: Dan Golodner and Troy Eller English

    Interviewee: Mary Wallace

    Music: Bart Bealmear

    • 31 min
    No Equal Justice: The Legal and Civil Rights Legacy of George W. Crockett Jr.

    No Equal Justice: The Legal and Civil Rights Legacy of George W. Crockett Jr.

    Peter Hammer describes the life and legacy of civil rights icon George W. Crockett, Jr. A Black lawyer who fought racism and defended constitutional rights in landmark cases in the 1940s through the 1960s, Crockett brought his ethos to the Detroit Recorder’s Court during his time on the bench from 1966 through 1978, and to his decade of service in the 1980s as a Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Hammer is an A. Alfred Taubman Endowed Chair in the Wayne State University Law School and director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights. With Wayne State Law Professor Emeritus Edward J. Littlejohn, Hammer coauthored the biography, No Equal Justice: The Legacy of Civil Rights Icon George W. Crockett Jr.

    Related Collections:

    George Crockett Papers

    Ernest Goodman Papers

    Edward J. Littlejohn Papers (Available for public access in 2023)

    Related Resources:

    No Equal Justice: The Legacy of Civil Rights Icon George W. Crockett Jr.

    Episode Credits

    Producers: Dan Golodner and Troy Eller English

    Interviewee: Peter Hammer

    Music: Bart Bealmear

    • 40 min
    A Miasma of Metals: The Steelworkers’ Environmental Call Following the Donora Smog of 1948

    A Miasma of Metals: The Steelworkers’ Environmental Call Following the Donora Smog of 1948

    Louise Milone recounts how smog produced by the southwestern Pennsylvanian steel industry poisoned the air in the Monongahela Valley town of Donora on November 1, 1948, killing more than 22 people and sickening thousands more. Exploring the response of the US Steel Corporation, employees, and Donora residents, Milone explains how the United Steelworkers of America union pushed for an investigation and improved environmental and health and safety regulations following the disaster. Milone is a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Georgia Department of History.

    Related Collections:

    Olga Madar Papers

    Harvey O’Connor Papers

    UAW President’s Office: Walter P. Reuther Records

    Episode Credits

    Producers: Dan Golodner and Troy Eller English

    Interviewee: Louise Milone

    Music: Bart Bealmear

    • 32 min
    A “Most Conscientious and Considerate Method”: Grosse Pointe’s Gross Post-War Housing Point System

    A “Most Conscientious and Considerate Method”: Grosse Pointe’s Gross Post-War Housing Point System

    Emma Maniere describes how homeowners associations in Grosse Pointe, an affluent suburb bordering Detroit, developed a point system following the Second World War to rank and exclude prospective homebuyers to maintain the community’s Anglo Christian whiteness and affluence. The point system, which ranked nativity and ethnicity, accent, skin tone, and occupation, among other measures, was dismantled in 1960 but left a pernicious legacy that continues to reverberate in the community today. Maniere is a doctoral candidate in the history program at New York University.

    Related Collections:



    ACLU of Michigan and Metropolitan Detroit Branch Records

    Kathy Groehn Cosseboom El-Messidi Papers

    Grosse Pointe Civil Rights Organizations Records



    JCA: Jewish Community Council Records

    Related Resources:

    A “Most Conscientious and Considerate Method”: Residential Segregation and Integrationist Activism in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, 1960-1970

    Episode Credits

    Producers: Dan Golodner and Troy Eller English

    Interviewee: Emma Maniere

    Music: Bart Bealmear

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

micallef31 ,

A must

All our guys in our IAFF Local will be listeners. Thanks for this important work.

KG Mich ,

such interesting stories

This is becoming one of my favorite podcasts. Every episode is so interesting, and it is amazing to see the nuanced and detailed histories people can pull out of old books and papers!

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