Resources for the history of Black railroaders

Image gallery
Featuring photographs from the Center’s collection

Introduction

Black railroaders have contributed—and continue to contribute—mightily to the North American rail system and our history in general. Center staff members initially prepared this page during Black History Month in February 2021. We will add more images to the gallery as we find them in our collections. If you know of additional resources that we could add to our listing here, please send us an email: info [at] railphoto-art.org

Museums

A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum
10406 S. Maryland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60628

Historic Pullman Foundation
11141 S. Cottage Grove Avenue
(112th Street & Cottage Grove Avenue)
Chicago, IL

Books

Kornweibel Jr., Theodore. Railroads in the African American Experience: A Photographic Journey. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010.

Arnesen, Eric. Brotherhoods of Color: Black Railroad Workers and the Struggle for Equality. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2002.

Tye, Larry. Rising from the Rails: Pullman Porters and the Making of the Black Middle Class. New York, Holt Paperbacks, 2005.

Films

10,000 Black Men Named George. Directed by Robert Townsend, written by Cyrus Nowrasteh, performances by Andre Braugher, Charles S. Dutton, and Mario Van Peebles, Paramount, 2002.

Oral history projects

Robert C. Hayden Interviews the “Knights of the Rail”: An Oral History of Black American Railroad Workers in Boston, University Archives & Special Collections in the Healey Library at UMass Boston

Oregon African American Railroad Porters Oral History Collection, Special Collections & Archives Research Center, Oregon State University Libraries

Other websites

A. Philip Randolph, American Experience 

The African-American Railroad Experience, an interview with author Theodore Kornweibel Jr. on KPBS San Diego

African Americans and the Railroad: Gauley Bridge Depot; Gauley Bridge, WV, New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

Five Things to Know About Pullman Porters, Smithsonian magazine

Pullman Porters: Topics in Chronicling America, a Library of Congress Research Guide

The Transcontinental Railroad, African Americans and the California Dream, an article by Alison Rose Jefferson for the California Historical Society