September 4 1869: First Black Delegates Seated at a National Labor Union Convention

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Pat Young

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Prior to the Civil War, black workers were excluded from nearly every "white" labor union in the United States. During Reconstruction, the leaders of the newly formed National Labor Union (NLU), a confederation of many local labor unions, opened its doors to women and African Americans. At its Sept. 4, 1869 convention black delegates were seated at a national labor union convention for the first time.
 
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