Reverend Addie Wyatt
Faith and the Fight for Labor, Gender, and Racial Equality
University of Illinois Press 2016
New Books in African American StudiesNew Books in BiographyNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in ReligionNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books Network August 22, 2017 Mark Klobas
Addie Wyatt stands at the intersection of unionism, feminism, and civil rights activism in post-World War II America. In Reverend Addie Wyatt: Faith and the Fight for Labor, Gender, and Racial Equality (University of Illinois Press, 2016), Marcia Walker-McWilliams recounts her life within the context of a nation she helped to change. Born in Mississippi, Addie Cameron grew up in Chicago, where despite her skills as a typist she could only find employment on the floor of a meatpacking plant. As a member of the interracial United Packinghouse Workers of America, she soon moved full time into union work, organizing workers and fighting for their rights. In her capacity as a union official she began a lifelong participation in the civil rights movement by raising funds on behalf of Montgomery Improvement Association during the 1955 bus boycott campaign, and in the 1970s formed coalitions designed to promote African American and female participation in the labor movement. As Walker-McWilliams demonstrates, throughout the many struggles she undertook Addie Wyatt’s faith was an important constant, providing her with a set of values and a source of emotional strength that helped her to persevere against the difficulties she faced.