Standing Tall: Willie Long And the Mare Island Original 21ers

by Jake Sloan

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In 1961, there were an estimated one thousand plus African Americans working at Mare Island Naval Shipyard (hereinafter also referred to as Mare Island or The Shipyard) in Vallejo, California, with the great majority of them being men. For decades, they had suffered under organized, systematic, and, sometimes, unconscious discriminatory working conditions in hiring, training, promotions, and equal pay opportunities. In many ways, the working conditions for those in the production shops were better than those found in the private sector for similar work, especially in the building trades. However, increasingly, for at least the three decades preceding 1960, there had been growing dissatisfaction with the status quo among a small but growing group of the African American workers, especially among those working in the “skill” trades. In 1961, a relatively small group of the African American workers, constituting less than 5% of its total number employed at Mare Island, led by Willie Long, decided to organize and file a complaint of discrimination with the Federal Government. Notwithstanding resistance and foot-dragging from the leadership in Washington, at Mare Island, and eventual internal strife within the group’s leadership, that action helped to bring about slow but measurable long-term change at The Shipyard, as well as at other federal installations in the area and beyond.



Details:
rank:
price: $15.00
bound: 503 pages
publisher:
lang: English
asin: B06Y5HNKS5
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weight:
filesize: 240279 KB

















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