Because I study a meat processing industry, I've spent way too much time reading about the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen Union. One of the stories I encountered in studying the Amalgamated was that of Reverend Addie Wyatt. A meat packer, she worked in Chicago's well-known meat packing industry and was active first, with the United Packinghouse Workers, then, in the Amalgamated, becoming the first woman elected International Vice President of the Amalgamated. Her work would continue in the United Food and Commercial Workers.
Reverend Wyatt is what Robert Korstad would call a "civil rights unionist." Her work reflects her understanding of the interconnectedness of economic, political, and civil rights, access, and opportunity. She was active in civil rights struggles in Chicago.
You can read more about her here and read one of her sermons and an interview with her here.
I loved the question, "What was your mother's name?" at the close of that interview. It just seemed so respectful of all that Addie Wyatt is and, at the same time, respectful of all women.
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