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African Union Society

Written by Michael Barga. “In 1780, The African Union Society (AUS) was created in Newport, Rhode Island. While most blacks from Rhode Island were free by 1807, strong prejudice and oppression were present before and after that date. The AUS developed partly in response to these difficulties, as well as a forum for black cultural discussion. The society is considered one of the first formal organizations founded by free blacks in the United States.”

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The Plan to End Poverty in California (EPIC)

The nomination of an avowed socialist to head the Democratic party ticket was more than the California establishment could tolerate. Sinclair’s radical candidacy was opposed by just about every establishment force in California. The media virtually demonized Sinclair through a concerted propaganda campaign based largely on smears and falsehoods. Sinclair’s candidacy also set off a bitter political battle both within the Democratic party and with many groups who were opposed to various aspects of the EPIC plan. Sinclair was denounced as a “Red” and “crackpot” and the Democratic establishment sought to derail his candidacy. Despite all of this, Upton Sinclair was very nearly elected Governor of California in 1934.

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Schiff, Philip: A Political Campaign Speech – 1937

“As a united progressive group we do not intend to let go of the tiger’s tail until it has been twisted beyond recognition! A defeat for Tammany in the 1st Assembly District. means a death blow from Tammany in the city. What an opportunity for the American Labor Party and those in sympathy with its aims! For the sake of the thousands who reside in the 1st District., the city and the state, we must not permit it to slip out of our grasp!

“The “Dooling way” is the path to loss of civic self-respect, an acknowledgment of defeat for obtaining the things we want most, an agreement to continue playing with a representative who is tied lock, stock and barrel to a system which has for years been “kidding” the public and is constantly under public scrutiny because of its many excursions into the public through for its own benefit.

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Old Age Security: Abraham Epstein’s View (1934)

We all know, of course, that any program of social security will be complete if complete security is provided and the best kind of security. But I believe that since we are just imperfect human beings, and most of us are imperfect, we should confine ourselves for the present to one problem, at least try to solve one problem at a time, not 100 per cent, or even 90 per cent. If you can only get over that philosophy to the legislatures, I think that all of our problems on social security in this country will be solved.

The reason that there is no perfect remedy for making old age absolutely secure, no matter what principle is adopted, no matter what legislation we enact, is that there will always be certain flaws to make it at least just below 100 per cent perfect, if for no other reason than the fact that the members of the Senate and House of Representatives are fallible people. Some may not believe that, but at least most of us agree on it. Therefore, we cannot expect infallible laws.

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Caring for Paupers (1881)

The class which suffers at all our almshouses is the class for whom almshouses are presumed to be maintained, the unfortunate and self-respecting poor. A more horrible existence than a modest woman must endure at very many of our almshouses it is impossible to imagine. She lives amid unclean disorder and constant bickering; she is always hearing oaths and vile talk, the ravings of madmen and the uncouth gibberings of idiots; she is always seeing scarred and blotched faces and distorted limbs, hideous shapes such as one encounters in the narrow streets of Italian towns, but which, here, we hide in our almshouses. She is exposed to a hundred petty wrongs; Mrs. Jens’s case, already described, may give the reader an inkling of their nature. Often she is treated with absolute cruelty; in some almshouses she cannot protect herself from the grossest insults.

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Old Age Assistance: A Brief History (1934)

At the end of 1928, after six years of agitation, there were only six states and one territory which had made provision for their aged. They were Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, Wisconsin and Alaska. All the state laws were of the optional type, i.e., they left the adoption or rejection of an old age assistance system to the discretion of the counties. For this reason these laws had very limited effect only.

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Old Age Assistance: An Overview

From the earliest colonial times, local villages and towns recognized an obligation to aid the needy when family effort and assistance provided by neighbors and friends were not sufficient. This aid was carried out through the poor relief system and almshouses or workhouses. Gradually, measures were adopted to provide aid on a more organized basis, usually through cash allowances to certain categories among the poor. Mothers’ pension laws, which made it possible for children without paternal support to live at home with their mothers rather than in institu­tions or foster homes, were adopted in a number of States even before World War I. In the mid-twenties, a few States began to experiment with old-age assistance and aid to the blind.

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Henry Street Settlement: Fortieth Anniversary Program

History reveals that humane progress is made and nobility of life created by the march of men and women who have had faith in an ideal of a more complete, more wholesome life, who have been courageous in expressing their beliefs and have consecrated their lives to engendering the realization of their vision.

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Wald, Lillian: Congressional Tribute

  REMARKS  OF HON. SAMUEL DICKSTEIN OF NEW YORK IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Thursday, September 19, 1940 Mr. DICKSTEIN.  Mr. Speaker, the untimely death of Lillian D. Wald has left a void in the life of the city of New York and the country at large, which will not be easily filled.  Miss Wald’s…

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