ERIC Number: EJ721512
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: 72
A Union Voice for Racial Equality: Miles Stanley and Civil Rights in West Virginia, 1957-68
Fones-Wolf, Colin T.
Journal of Appalachian Studies, v10 n1-2 p111-128 Spr-Fall 2004
On October 15, 1959, union delegates from across West Virginia converged upon the Daniel Boone Hotel in the capital city of Charleston to participate in the West Virginia Labor Federation, AFL-CIO's second statewide constitutional convention. Charleston, at this time, remained a segregated city. So when G. William Dunn, an African-American delegate from local 863 of the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union and secretary for the Federation's Committee on Civil Rights, attempted to register in the Daniel Boone, management refused him (WV Labor Federation, 1959, 124-5). Federation President, Miles Clark Stanley had anticipated such a confrontation. And he promptly issued an ultimatum: either the hotel abolishes its discriminatory policy or he would move the convention to another city. Fearful of losing the revenue generated by the convention, hotel management acquiesced to Stanley's demands and registered Dunn. The Federation's stand against segregation not only integrated the Daniel Boone Hotel but also helped break the color line in public accommodations throughout Charleston (Powell 2002; Draper 1994). Stanley's calculated attack on the segregationist Charleston hotels set a tone for the West Virginia Labor Federation's active role in promoting social, political, and economic advancements for African-Americans. During the next decade, the West Virginia AFL-CIO, under his guidance, fought racial discrimination in unionized workplaces, campaigned for civil rights laws in the state legislature, and sponsored state and local civil rights organizations such as the West Virginia Human Rights Commission and the state's Advisory Committee on Civil Rights. This paper explores Miles Stanley's and the West Virginia AFL-CIO's contributions to civil rights in the state and examines some of the factors that contributed to their achievements. (Contains 1 endnote.)
Descriptors: Civil Rights, Unions, State History, African American History, Racial Segregation, Change Agents, Biographies, Equal Education, Civil Rights Legislation
Appalachian Studies Association, Marshall University, One John Marshall Drive, Huntington, WV 25755. Tel: 304-696-2904; Web site: http://www.appalachianstudies.org/contact/.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: West Virginia