Every February, working Americans acknowledge our debt to the long fight for African American equality. In 2013, UAW 848 held a wonderful tribute evening and KNON radio's "Workers Beat" program devoted the February 23 program to it.
The UAW 848 event was the evening of February 23. It was organized by Civil Rights Committee Chair Johnnie Welch, who also emceed the event and contributed her vast talents to musical presentations. She brought in a professional jazz band and a number of talented performers, most of whom were from Local 848. They also had a full dinner spread. The last item on the program was special remarks from Romeo Munoz, who is President of the Local, President of the Southwestern Region of the UAW political arm, and President of the Dallas AFl-CIO Central Labor Council.
UAW 848 can be especially proud of their presentation.
Earlier that day, Gene Lantz and Bonnie Mathias dedicated an hour of radio time to Black History. Bonnie gave a special tribute to Reverend L. Charles Stovall, who is probably the greatest living civil rights leader from North Texas. Gene Lantz read an original play, "Jane Elkins, the First Feminist of Dallas County." Jane Elkins was hanged for killing a white slaver in 1853 and thus became the first woman ever hanged in the official history of Texas. Even though the trial transcript still exists, no one knows what really happened, why she was hanged, and why she killed "Massa" Wisdom in Farmers Branch in May, 1853. The play asks, "Doesn't anybody want to know why?"
Radio listeners called in to make their own comments about the important relationship between the union movement and the fight for civil rights in America. The program can be heard and seen on KNON's podcasts and videocasts.
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