My objective with Blood Terminal was to write a mystery novel dealing with issues of racism and work in the Birmingham, Ala., of 1931, the period termed “Jim Crow.” The project required research into the time period, the location, the social and economic conditions, details of domestic and railroad labor, and the personal lifeways of African-Americans in that time and place.
Anything to do with race seems to attract controversy like no other topic in this country. But it shouldn’t; the history is there to see. I hope this short bibliography on a vast history will send some seekers to discover more. A few of these resources are academic in nature, but most are very accessible reads. The videos and oral histories are especially engrossing.
Labor, Workers, & Unions
Arneson, Eric. Brotherhoods of Color: Black Railroad Workers and the Struggle for Equality. Cambridge: Harvard, 2001.
Bates, Beth Tomkins. Pullman Porters and the Rise of Protest Politics in Black America, 1925-1945. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.
Brazeal, Brailford Reese. The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1946.
Clark-Lewis, Elizabeth. Living In, Living Out: African-American Domestics in Washington, D.C., 1910-1940. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994.
Douglas, George. All Aboard! The Railroad in American Life. New York: Paragon House, 1992.AC
Harris, William H. Keeping the Faith: A Philip Randolph, Milton P. Webster, and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, 1925-37. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977.
———-. The Harder We Run: Black Workers Since the Civil War. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.
Honey, Michael K. Black Workers Remember: An Oral History of Segregation, Unionism, and the Freedom Struggle. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.
Kelly, Robin D.G. “’We Are Not What We Seem’: Rethinking Black Working-Class Opposition in the Jim Crow South.” Journal of American History 80 (June 1993) 75-112.
McPherson, James Alan, & Miller Williams, eds. Railroad: Trains and Train People in American Culture. New York: Random House, 1976.
Perata, David D. Those Pullman Blues: An Oral History of the African-American Railroad Attendant. New York: Twayne Publishers,1996.
Selected Studies of Negro Employment in the South. Prepared for the NPA Committee of the South. National Planning Association, Committee of the South, 1953.
Sochen, June. The Unbridgeable Gap: Blacks and Their Quest for the American Dream, 1900-1930. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1972.
Tucker, Susan. Telling Memories Among Southern Women. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1988.
Tye, Larry. Rising from the Rails: Pullman Porters and the Making of the Black Middle Class. New York: Henry Holt, 2004.
Cline, Wayne. Alabama Railroads. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press: 1997.
Fitzsimmons, Bernard. 150 Years of North American Railroads. Hong Kong: Winchmore Publishing Services, 1982.
Krause, John, with H. Reid. Rails Through Dixie. San Marino, Calif.: Golden West Books, 1965.
Murphy, Ruby Bradford. Streamliner: The Way of Life on a Passenger Train. Evanston, Ill.: Row Peterson & Co., 1941.
Peabody, James. Railway Organization and Management, Parts I & II. Chicago: LaSalle Extension University, 1924.
Walls, Dwayne E. The Chickenbone Special. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971.
Birmingham, Ala., and the Deep South
Alabama: A Guide to the Deep South. American Guide Series, compiled by Workers of the Writer’s Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Alabama. New York: Richard R. Smith, 1941.
Bond, Horace Mann. Negro Education in Alabama: A Study in Cotton and Steel. Washington, D.C.: Associated Publishers, 1939.
Fraser, Walter J. Jr., R. Frank Saunders, and Jon L. Wakelyn. The Web of Southern Social Relations: Women, Family, and Education. Athens: University of Georgia, 1985.
Hammond’s Atlas and Gazetteer of the World. New York: Publisher’s Guild, 1947.
Kelly, Brian. Race, Class, and Power in the Alabama Coal Fields, 1908-21. Urbana: University of Illinois, 2001.
Martin, Robert F. Howard Kester and the Struggle for Social Justice in the South, 1904-77. Charlottsville: University of Virginia press, 1991.
McWhorter, Diane. Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001.
Portrait of Birmingham, Alabama. Birmingham: Birmingham Centennial Corporation, 1971.
Rowan, Carl T. South of Freedom. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1952.
Sanders, Irwin T. and Douglas Ensminger for the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Alabama Rural Communities: A Study of Chilton County. Montevallo: Alabama College, 1940.
Sprigle, Ray. In the Land of Jim Crow. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1949.s
Dialect & Language
Burling, Robbins. English in Black and White. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1973.
Dillard, J.L. Lexicon of Black English. New York: Seabury Press, 1977.
Holton, Sylia Wallace. Down Home and Uptown: The Representation of Black Speech in American Fiction. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University, 1984.
Jones, Gavin Roger. Strange Talk: The Politics of Dialect Literature in Gilded Age America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.
Lewis, Richard O. Conventional Functions of Black English in American Literature. San Francisco: Austin & Winfield, 1997.
Major, Clarence. Black Slang: A Dictionary of Afro-American Talk. London: Routledge and K. Paul, 1971.
Montgomery, Michael and Guy Bailey. Language Variety in the South: Perspectives in Black and White. University, Ala.: University of Alabama Press, 1986.
Smitherman, Geneva. Talkin and Testifyin: The Language of Black America. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1986.
Stoller, Paul, ed. Black American English: Its Background and Its Usage in the Schools and in Literature. New York: Dell, 1975.
Wolfram, Walt and Nona H. Clarke, eds. Black-White Speech Ralationships. Washington: Center for Applied Linguistics, 1971.
Drake, St. Clair, and Horace Cayton. Black Metropolis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.
DuBois, W.E.B. Souls of Black Folk. Boston: Bedford Books, 1997.
———–. Dusk of Dawn. New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1986.
Dundes, Allen. Mother Wit from the Laughing Barrel: Readings in the Interpretation of Afro-American Folklore. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1990.
Franklin, John Hope, and Alfred Moss Jr. From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans. 8th ed. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2000.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Mules and Men. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1978.
Wilson, Charles Reagan and William Ferris, eds. Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989.
10,000 Black Men Named George. Paramount Pictures, 2001.
Dream Trains: Short Hops & Whistlestops. Americana Video Series, 1996.
Miles of Smiles. Smithsonian, 1984.
Tales of the Rails: Railroads and Rural Life in Early 20th-Century America.