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African American Railroad Workers of Roanoke

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African American Railroad Workers of Roanoke

Oral Histories of the Norfolk and Western

Sheree Scarborough on Behalf of the Historical Society of Western Virginia


Roanoke, Virginia, is one of America’s great historic railroad centers. The Norfolk & Western Railway Company, now the Norfolk Southern Corporation, has been in Roanoke for over a century. Since the company has employed many of the city’s African Americans, the two histories are intertwined. The lives of Roanoke’s black railroad workers span the generations from Jim Crow segregation to the civil rights era to today’s diverse corporate workforce. Older generations toiled through labor-intensive jobs such as janitors and track laborers, paving the way for younger African Americans to become engineers, conductors and executives. Join author Sheree Scarborough as she interviews Roanoke’s African American railroad workers and chronicles stories that are a powerful testament of personal adversity, struggle and triumph on the rail.

Page Extent : 160 pp.
Trim Size : 6 x 9
Over 45 images
Published by the History Press: June 2014

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  1. Excellent History 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 9th Apr 2017

    Great history!!! I a person who grew up in Roanoke, I had a few family members work for the rail road and told me lots of stories. I've never seen any books about or told the story of African Americans who worked an essentially contributed to the growth of N&W/N&S in Roanoke until now. This was a great read and history lesson !!!!!

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