Talk: Boss of the Grips

November 12 @ 6:00pm - 7:00pmFREE
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A long-overdue biography of the head of Grand Central Terminal’s Red Caps, who flourished in the cultural nexus of Harlem and American railroads. Author Eric K. Washington uncovers the nearly forgotten life of James H. Williams (1878–1948), the chief porter of Grand Central Terminal’s Red Caps―a multitude of Harlem-based black men whom he organized into the essential labor force of America’s most august railroad station. Washington reveals that despite the highly racialized and often exploitative nature of the work, the Red Cap was a highly coveted job for college-bound black men determined to join New York’s burgeoning middle class.






Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash

Grand Central Library
  • 135 East 46th Street Manhattan