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16, August 2017

Racial Tensions in St. Louis Waiters' Unions

If you went out to dinner in St. Louis during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, odds are your waiter would have been an African American male. At the time, the majority of waiters were black, and the position was seen as one of the most desirable ones available to black workers due to its relatively substantial wage and lack of physical labor. The security African Americans felt in this role was short lived though, because in the 1910s white men saw the same benefits of waiting tables and attempted to force black men out of the industry. Read more »