Maida Springer: Pan-Africanist and International Labor Leader

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University of Pittsburgh Pre, May 1, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 384 pages
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Maida Springer was an active participant in shaping a history that involved powerful movements for social, political and economic equality and justice for workers women, and African Americans. Maida Springer is the first full-length biography to document and analyze the central role played by Springer in international affairs, particularly in the formation of AFL-CIO's African policy during the Cold War and African independence movements.

Richards explores the ways in which pan-Africanism, racism, sexism and anti-Communism affected Springer's political development, her labor activism, and her relationship with labor leaders in the AFL-CIO, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), and in African unions. Springer's life experiences and work reveal the complex nature of black struggles for equality and justice. A strong supporter of both the AFL-CIO and the ICFTU, Springer nonetheless recognized that both organizations were fraught with racism, sexism, and ethnocentrism. She also understood that charges of Communism were often used as a way to thwart African American demands for social justice. As an African-American, she found herself in the unenviable position of promoting to Africans the ideals of American democracy from which she was excluded from fully enjoying.

Richards's biography of Maida Springer uniquely connects pan-Africanism, national and international labor relations, the Cold War, and African American, labor, women's, and civil rights histories. In addition to documenting Springer's role in international labor relations, the biography provides a larger view of a whole range of political leaders and social movements. Maida Springer is a stirring biography that spans the fields of women studies, African American studies, and labor history.


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Would you , please, review your information about Raphael Bintou - on page 116, you stated that he and Louis Major were belgians....Is that right ? I am his daughter and was not aware....I am waiting for a correction or should I correct my father's biography ??


My Wonderful Young Mother Springers Formative Years
My Union Was a Very Political Union Springer Joins Local 22
The Dilemma of Race and Gender during World War II
The National and International Struggle against the Color Line
Dancing on the End of a Needle African Connections
The Atlantic City Compromise
The Beginning of the Affiliation Struggle
Springer Joins the AFLCIO Department of International Affairs
AFLCIO Africa Programs
Continued Service

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About the author (2004)

Yevette Richards received a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. Her areas of interest include labor, African American, and women’s histories. She has published articles in the International Journal of African Historical Studies and the Journal of Women’s History.

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