Alert
Close

Help Decide the Future of Aging. Join the White House’s Live Stream From Cleveland Monday. Learn more

Contests and
Sweeps

You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation!

Hawaii, the Grand Canyon or an Alaskan Cruise! No purchase necessary. Ends May 31. See official rules.

Happiness
poll

most popular
articles

Viewed

Pullman Porters: Ordinary Men, Extraordinary History

They made a mark in civil rights and upward mobility for African Americans.

They made beds and cleaned toilets. They shined shoes, dusted jackets, cooked meals, and washed dishes. Yet the Pullman porters created history in the face of adversity and racial prejudice. They helped form the foundation for the black middle class, and became instrumental in the civil rights movement.

Follow two former porters as they travel from their homes in Seattle to Oakland, Calif., where they were honored by Amtrak and the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum for their years of service.

Troy Walker (pictured at left) worked for the Santa Fe Railroad and Amtrak from 1944-1971. Walker was promoted from a dining car waiter to a lounge car attendant and finally a supervisor, when he retired after 37 years of working on the railroad.

The son of a Pullman porter, Thomas H. Gray worked on the Santa Fe Railroad from 1955-1959. Gray was able to work as a chair car attendant for four summers while earning his college degree. He went on to work for Boeing for 32 years.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Member Benefit Swipe Save Discount

Members can find current offer from Family Dollar at myAFINITI.com.

amazon membership benefits aarp Woman sitting on sofa using digital tablet

Members save 10% on Amazon Kindle e-readers and the Kindle Fire HDX tablet.

Member Benefits Discounts Angie's List

Members can save 25% to 45% on their Angie's List membership.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.