Peter Cole

Academic Historian

Peter Cole is a professor of history at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois.  He holds a Ph. D. in history from Georgetown University and a B.A. from Columbia University.  He has published two books and numerous articles on the World War I era’s most inclusive labor union, Local 8, a part of the Industrial Workers of the World: Wobblies on the Waterfront: Interracial Unionism in Progressive-Era Philadelphia (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007) and Ben Fletcher: The Life & Times of a Black Wobbly (New York: Charles H. Kerr Press, 2007).  His current book project is a comparative history of longshore workers in the San Francisco Bay Area and Durban, South Africa.


Tefere Gebre (1968–)

American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) “Image Ownership: Public Domain” Labor leader Tefere Gebre fled Ethiopia at fourteen years of age, moved to the United States, and was elected years later, in 2013, executive vice president of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of … Read MoreTefere Gebre (1968–)

William H. Chester (1914-1985)

Dr. Martin Luther King with Bill Chester, January 25, 1963 “Image Courtesy of Anne Rand Library, International Longshore and Warehouse Union” William “Bill” Chester, Vice President and Assistant to Harry Bridges, President of the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union (ILWU), was the highest ranking African … Read MoreWilliam H. Chester (1914-1985)

Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian (1924- )

The life of the Revered C.T. Vivian is practically the story of the modern black freedom struggle.  Vivian actively participated in the Nashville desegregation movement, Freedom Rides, Birmingham, Selma, Chicago, and other chapters of the fight for equal rights. Born Boonville, Missouri on July 28, … Read MoreCordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian (1924- )

Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Local 8 (1913-1928?)

Local 8 was an interracial, multiethnic local that was part of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a militant, left-wing labor union. From its inception, the IWW has been committed to racial equality, though African Americans played a relatively small role in the organization. … Read MoreIndustrial Workers of the World (IWW) Local 8 (1913-1928?)