Pullman Porter Museum celebrates 29 years sharing history of Black labor unions

Jasmine Minor Image
Friday, February 23, 2024
Pullman Porter Museum shares history of Black labor unions
The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum on Chicago's South Side is celebrating 29 years of telling the history of Black labor unions.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The only Black labor history museum in the world is celebrating 29 years, with new expansions on the way.

The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum tells the story of the first Black union to win a collective bargaining agreement with a major U.S. corporation.

"We were always deprived and held back and to see the resiliency emerge from folks, Black and brown people, to a space where your spirit man says you will not stop," Dr. Lyn Hughes said.

It's on the cusp of being a $30 million district by August, celebrating those fighting for fair wages for Black people.

One Fair Wage National League organizer Nataki Rhodes is one of Porter Museum's honorees for their annual gala this weekend.

"By 2028, Chicago tipped workers will be getting $15 an hour with all tips on top," Rhodes said.

She successfully lobbied for Chicago to raise the pay for tip workers. One Fair Wage data shows 55% of tipped workers are Black.

"... I had picked up the extraordinary work that Philip Randolph has done," Rhodes said.

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It's a testament to the man credited with starting the Black labor movement and giving a voice to his fellow railroad workers.

"This was the first job for African Americans where they could have gainful employment, become versed in traveling, and learn a lot of different components of business," museum president David Peterson Jr. said.

The 29th anniversary of the museum will be celebrated at the Gentle Warrior Awards Gala on Saturday, and it will be hosted by ABC7's Hosea Sanders.

"We've come such a long way, but we have a long way to go," Hughes said.