“The Irish, Germans, Italians and Americans feared heights. A few Natives did, but the vast majority did not. It was NATIVES that built The Empire State Building. They also built what we know as Manhattan. And how did we honor them? By taking all their land in The West as well as The Pacific? By killing all "wild” Natives? By committing acts of genocide? By watering out their culture? By sending their kids to schools were they were thaught to despise their traditions? By making a national day, to honor a man that would be found guilty in act of genocide and crimes against humanity?“
Steel worker Carl Russell sits at 1,222 feet on top of a steel beam casually waving to the cameraman, who risks his life climbing into a crane to be able to make this photo. Empire State Building, 18 september 1930.
California decided not to apply for federal funding for the project because the “Buy America” provisos would probably have required purchasing more expensive steel and fabrication from United States manufacturers.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH DAY: 12
PBS documentary looks at the plight of the black steel workers of Pittsburg.
While jobs at the steel mills were highly sought after since they were often the highest-paying jobs available to African-American workers, these same workers were given the toughest, dirtiest and most dangerous jobs the so-called “man-killing” jobs. The African-American steelworkers, many of whom joined the mill after fighting for their country in World Wars I and II, faced discrimination from both their employers and their union and found that their chances for advancement, despite their education, qualifications or experience, were repeatedly thwarted.
When a local TV station aired a documentary about steelworkers who had lost their jobs and never once made reference to the African-Americans among them, Ray was outraged. For Ray, that program negated the very important, valuable contributions that African-American men and women had made to the steel industry.