History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Yevette Richards Jordan Interviewed About Black Women and Unions


Professor Yevette Richards Jordan was recently interviewed by USA Today for a story titled "Unions Owe Debt to Black Women." She was asked about Maida Springer-Kemp, a labor organizer. The story quotes Jordan:

Springer-Kemp, a Panama-born garment worker who became a renowned international labor organizer, wasn’t given her due until recent decades, says her biographer, historian Yevette Richards Jordan. Springer-Kemp, who joined the union in 1933, became the first black agent to oversee an ILGWU district. Among other leadership roles, she served as educational director in another New York Local, 132. ...

“She was one of the early leaders, who was a strong advocate for unionism and civil rights,” says Jordan, who teaches at George Mason University. “She saw those two movements in tandem.”

Jordan is the author of two books on Maida Springer. The first is a biography titled Maida Springer: Pan-Africanist and International Labor Leader (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000), and the second is an oral history titled Conversations with Maida Springer: A Personal History of Labor, Race and International Relations (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004). 

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