Browse Exhibits (3 total)
Born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1888, John B. Summers was the son and grandson of AME ministers. Raised in a prominent family, Summers moved to Philadelphia in 1918 to work as an inspector at Hog Island Shipyard. In the decades that followed, Summers worked behind the scenes to advance Black Philadelphians politically and witnessed their switch from Republican to Democrat Parties in the 1930s. During the Great Depression, he began a long and successful career as a labor organizer for the CIO.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Ralph Jones (1906-1991) witnessed the arrival of Black southerners during the Great Migration and experienced the tensions between them and the established African-American community. After graduating from Howard University in 1931, Jones returned to Philadelphia, where he enjoyed a long and successful career in journalism, serving as editor for The Philadelphia Independent and the Afro-American, and as executive editor of the Philadelphia Tribune. Jones also worked as a public relations specialist for the City of Philadelphia and was the first African-American to become sergeant of the County detectives. Jones was also an accomplished author, of a novel, The Pepperpot Man, and a biography, entitled Charles Albert Tindley, Prince of Preachers, published in 1982.
In two 1984 interviews, Walter Gay (c. 1902- c. 1994) shared his experiences with racial violence in Georgia and his family's move to Philadelphia in 1917, his early observations of life in the city, and his role in the rise of Black Democrats during the political realignment of the 1930s.