Virtual Book Talk: Boss of the Grips
Thursday, August 4, 2022
Historian Eric K. Washington will discuss his book, Boss of the Grips: The Life of James H. Williams and the Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal, an award-winning biography that examines the deeply intertwined subjects of class, labor, and African American history. Learn about James H. Williams, a once influential Black railway labor figure who flourished in the cultural nexus of Harlem and American railroads while navigating the segregated world of the northern metropolis with his Harlem-based workforce.
Washington’s chronicle also looks back upon some other unsung heroes — from the 19th-century “horsecar wars” to desegregate the city’s public conveyances, to the racial-caste “Colored School No. 4” of Williams’s boyhood. With this biography, Williams must now be considered, along with Cornelius Vanderbilt and Jacqueline Onassis, one of the great heroes of Grand Central’s storied past.
All attendees are welcome. You will have the option to turn on automatic captions for this virtual program. Staff will share instructions for how to do so at the start of the event. Please email [email protected] with any questions.
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