My grandfather John Jones was born in September 1888 in Gonzales, Texas. He grew up in this small town and attended a local elementary school. At the age of 16, after marrying a young girl, Minnie Weathers, he moved to the then Fort Worth, Texas.
For 40 years, my grandfather's job has been to become a light and compact member of the famous black gentleman. These gentlemen are known as "Pulman sleeper carporters" or simply "Pulman porters." They are named after George Pullman of Pullman Palace Train Company, the inventor of the Pullman sleeper designed for luxury long-distance train travel.
As Pullman Porter, my grandfather retired from 1922 to 1962, taking the train through the Texas and Pacific Railroads across the United States, starting from Fort Worth's home.
When I [his grandson was born in Fort Worth] moved to Kansas City, Missouri in 1977, he told me a lot about telling a train to Kansas City. He talked about arriving at the second largest train station in the United States, the Union Station in the city center [the Grand Central Station in New York, the first one], and saw all the advertising signs on a hill across the station [now in the Westin Crown] The Westin Crown Center Hotel then spends the night at the Black Street Hotel, now known as the 18th and Vine Historical Jazz District [National Historic District].
My grandparents are happy to marry for 65 years. They raised seven children, all of whom were college students, who received tips from the salary he received and the tips he received from the many passengers he served. My grandmother died in 1978, and my grandfather was 99 years old and died on Thursday, June 9, 1988. He was only a few months away from the age of 100.
Pullman Porter and its rich American history: from
The Pullman Palace Train Company's George Pullman was founded in 1862 to build trains and develop the Pullman luxury sleeper, which is used on trains for long and overnight trips. These train cars were first introduced to the railway in 1867. In addition to the private living room with bed and bathroom, they are also equipped with carpets, fabrics, upholstered chairs, a library and a dressing table for long-distance travel.
Mr. Pullman's idea was to hire a group of very good-looking, well-dressed African-Americans to work as Pullman porters to help train passengers have any needs on board. It turns out that this is a great job for the porter and is considered a very prestigious job by Mr. Pullman. from
In the 1920s, Mr. Pullman owned more than 9,800 Pullman trains and employed more than 12,000 African-American porters. At the time he was the largest single employer of black Americans.
Pullman Porter's day-to-day work was long and arduous, but during this time he provided generous compensation and provided the porter with an opportunity to visit the country. In the first few years, they worked 400 hours a month, getting 35 cents an hour, or about $810.00 a year plus their tips. This is a good money, so that they can take care of their families and send their children to college. Their prestigious work also helped define the black middle class at the time.
Pullman porters are basically servants and must endure the various derogatory behaviors of white travelers. Many times, they do not call them by name, but rather Georges by George Pullman or simply the "boy" they hate.
Their daily work includes shoe shine, bed making, room service, luggage assistance or something that almost all travelers need. The better the service, the better the tips they are expected to receive. If they provide a good service, sometimes it will be a quarter, sometimes even a small amount of money. In addition, Pullman's work policy is strict, allowing only porters to sleep for only four hours a night, and they must pay for uniforms, logging and food.
On August 25, 1925, black businessman A. Philip Randolph founded the "Sisters of Sleeping Carporters." This is the country’s first all-black trade union, paving the way for porters to get better employment benefits.
On August 25, 1937, Pullman signed a working agreement with Pullman Porter to become the first labor agreement between black workers and a large American company. The results of the agreement include reducing their working hours from 400 to 250 per month and raising their salary from $67.50 per month to a minimum of $89.50 per month.
Pullman Porter was a respected member of his community and contributed to the development of the black middle class in the United States at the time, like black doctors, lawyers and educators at the time.
In 1968, Pullman terminated the operation of its sleeper trucks. Several railway companies took over the functions of Pullman, and the porters were transferred to companies such as Union Pacific Railroad and later Amtrak.
In short, if you have the opportunity to take the Amtrak train today and you find a nice black person to take care of your every need, please give him a tip and remember the long history of the "sleeping car porter brotherhood", especially remember the grandfather , Pullman Potter John Jones does not from
"George" or "boy."