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Posts Tagged with "Joseph Debro"

A banner announcing a lynching flies from a window of the NAACP headquarters in New York City, 1936. Since the organization’s founding in 1909, the NAACP drew attention to every one of the thousands of lynchings occurring in the U.S. – Photo: NAACP

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 6

August 3, 2014

As more and more white unions gained entrance into the AFL, more and more Negroes lost jobs and the opportunity to enter others. Astute observers of the time noted that Negroes were being excluded from occupations which they once held under slavery, that Negroes were being segregated into separate locals in trades where whites and Blacks formerly worked side by side, and that the economic plight of the Black was growing worse while unionism advanced.

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Griot Leon A. Waters leads a Hidden History tour on the New Orleans General Strike of 1892, the first one organized by Blacks and whites together. Three unions – two white and one Black – demanded a shorter work day of 10 hours, overtime pay after 60 hours and a union shop. The 25,000 striking workers won a 25 percent wage increase, a shorter work day and other gains. – Photo: HiddenHistory.us

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 5

May 30, 2014

The movement from farm to city forced the proletariat to unite in order to wrest decent pay and working conditions from large corporations, which tended to control entire industries as well as to reduce competition from immigrants and others, including Negroes. The history of the American labor unions, like that of big business itself, is filled with examples of racism, nationalism and exclusionism.

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In Ohio before 1865, Joe Debro writes, “Blacks had to have a certificate of freedom giving name, stature and complexion as well as details concerning the method of becoming free. In addition, a $500 bond as guarantee of good conduct was required of incoming freedmen, thus discouraging many Negroes from settling in the state.” Today, Ohio remains hostile to Black tradesmen – construction workers and contractors – who held a protest in late April, telling a major developer: “Black and other minority contractors and construction workers have been denied contracts and jobs on construction projects. Though entitled to an equal opportunity, we have been crushed and broken by the one sided, majority dominated and oppressive system which has neglected and/or confined Black and minority contractors to just the crumbs of the multi-billion dollar construction industry in the Greater Cleveland-Cuyahoga County area.” – Photo: Norman K. Edwards, American Center for Economic Equality, normankedwards@gmail.com

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 4

May 2, 2014

Black labor and business in the North before 1862: Labor and business conditions were slightly better for Negroes in the North than in the South, but discriminatory practices were far from absent. Unlike the South, where slaves were protected in their crafts through the paternalistic assistance of their white masters, Northern free Negroes were faced with severe competition from immigrant workers who were preferred over native Blacks.

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Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 3

March 31, 2014

Here we attempt to trace some of the historical antecedents and current socioeconomic processes that have served to prevent Black and Mexican American entrepreneurs from being assimilated into the mainstream of national business activities. In so doing, we must examine the evolution of Negro and Mexican American labor in the United States and its relationship to white-controlled labor unions, business and government.

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Joe Debro on racism in construction: A study of the manpower implications of small business financing

February 3, 2014

All the ingredients of human bondage and denigration which characterize Anglo treatment of minority peoples in the United States are also present in Oakland, California. A study of Oakland’s socio-economic situation demonstrates, as the Kerner Report and many other similar queries have done throughout the country, that the poor are cut off dramatically from the middle and upper classes.

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Joe Debro on racism in construction: A study of the manpower implications of small business financing, Part 1

January 2, 2014

“Our nation is moving toward two societies, one Black, and one white – separate and unequal.” And, unless immediate corrective action is taken, “large scale and continuing violence could result, followed by white retaliation, and, ultimately, the separation of the two communities into a garrison state.” These are words from the much publicized and relatively blunt report of the President’s Commission on Civil Disorders.

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Joe Debro on racism in construction

December 4, 2013

In November 2010, Joe Debro sent the Bay View a 200-page “book” he wrote in 1968 on racism in construction. His family has generously agreed that it be published in the Bay View. To begin, here is the prolog he wrote in 2010 to update it. In 1968, three of us undertook a study of the manpower implications of small business financing. In 2010, 42 years later, not much has changed.

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Joe Debro passes: National leader of Black contractors championed jobsite justice

November 18, 2013

Oakland resident Joseph R. Debro Jr. was born in Jackson, Mississippi, on Nov. 27, 1928, and passed away on Nov. 5, 2013, at a VA facility in Martinez, California. Joe Debro was the eldest of three children born to Joseph Debro and Seleana Gaylor Debro. Mr. Debro’s two younger siblings, Julius Cesar and Gloria Etta, were born in 1931 and 1935.

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I am an angry Black man

August 4, 2013

I saw nothing in the Zimmerman case that surprised me. The system worked as it was intended. Zimmerman, a White man, was tried by a White justice system for killing a Black boy. The outcome was predictable. Many White people saw this as a non-racial event. As an angry old Black man I have seen the diminution of racism in my lifetime. We are not there yet. It is unlikely that we will get there in the lifetime of my grandchildren.

City auditor spanks Black council members for trying to bring jobs to Oakland

March 28, 2013

Like President Clinton in his first run for president, Oakland’s city auditor developed her creds in the conservative community by creating a Sista Souljah moment. She publicly spanked two Black City Council members. These council members, Desley Brooks and Larry Reid, were trying desperately to level the economic playing field in Oakland. They were trying to integrate the money.

Welcome to segregated California

October 5, 2012

As a descendant of former slaves and as an immigrant from the South, I have a unique perspective on segregation. My parents migrated to Oakland from Jackson, Mississippi, in 1944. In Jackson there were signs which posted the segregation policies. In California there were segregation policies, but no signs.

High five to Bayview Hunters Point

May 28, 2012

Bayview Hunters Point might consider investing Lennar’s “community benefits” in a scholarship fund, a community development group, and a credit union that can pool the funds with residents’ own deposits and loan them for higher education, buying or improving a home, and founding or expanding a business to residents who have long been redlined and betrayed by banks.

Community benefits win big: Construction contracts and jobs for Oaklanders

January 28, 2012

We finally have legislation that benefits the taxpayers of Oakland. Desley Brooks took a giant step to bring economic parity to the community of the poor. What she has done will slow down the Oakland process of importing labor and exporting capital. Pack the Oakland City Council meeting Tuesday, Feb. 7, regarding local hire and a Jobs Center.

Why so few Black men are working

December 9, 2011

On Friday I walked the BART connector project. I found one worker who was a descendant of slaves on this $1 billion project. The minority contractors, who tend to employ members of their own tribe, have contracts whose value is less than 1/2 of 1 percent.

Why Blacks are not working

May 4, 2011

The Black community continues to support craft unions while they effectively lock out the Black community from construction jobs. This is why you do not see Black men and women working on any projects, even in our own communities.

New slavery

April 10, 2011

A felony conviction for a Black offender is a life sentence. It is a sentence to the underclass for life. Who is going to hire a Black man who is a felon? Felons can’t vote. They have no rights. They are locked into the underclass for life.

Civil rights hero Ray Dones dies

April 3, 2011

The nation has lost one of its unsung civil rights heroes: Ray Dones was the Martin Luther King of the construction industry. We lost Ray at a time when his kind of leadership is most needed. We all recognize now that the best way to fight violent crime is with a well paying job.

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Why bury your loved ones?

March 13, 2011

I know that donating one’s body to science will not work for everyone. For those who must borrow to bury a loved one and for those who, like us, resent the exploitation, this is indeed an option that is worth your consideration.

A West Oakland hero

March 10, 2011

Washington (Bob) Burnsis a retired pathologist. Unlike most retired doctors, he has spent the past 15 years trying to aid those who have been dealt a hand of poverty and desperation.

Bay Area Black Builders call on Black churches to build Black

January 23, 2011

On Saturday, Jan. 30, at 10 a.m., the Bay Area Black Builders plan to picket the Lord’s house. Beth Eden Church, a great church in the Black community, indicates that it has contracted with a White contractor apparently chosen by the lender, to build an addition.

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