The contributions of black members to the success of the Teamsters Union are numerous, varied and as old as the union itself. Black team drivers attended the first Convention in 1903 and were active in all aspects of the union—including leadership—from the beginning. That commitment remains strong today.
For more than a century, workers, organizers and union staff have poured their hearts and souls into gaining a foothold in industries where workers are in need of power. The result of these efforts has been the creation of very strong local unions that assist entire communities of workers in lifting themselves into the middle class by acquiring Teamster representation.
Placing the 1963 march in its longer historical context, Jones carefully reconstructs the role of African-American trade unionists in laying the groundwork for the demonstration, the support that organized labor gave to the march, and the economic dimension of the civil rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s.
We’re gathered here for the longest demonstration in the history of this nation. Let the nation and the world know the meaning of our numbers. We are not a pressure group, we are not an organization or a group of organizations, we are not a mob. We are the advanced guard of a massive, moral revolution for jobs and freedom.