Kemp, Maida SpringerAlternative names
From the description of Oral history interview with Maida Springer Kemp, 1977. (Wayne State University, Archives of Labor & Urban). WorldCat record id: 32321612
From the description of Reminiscences of Maida Springer Kemp : oral history, 1977. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 86131813
Kemp was born in Panama, Central America, in 1910 and moved to New York City with her mother, Diane Stewart, in 1917. In 1932 Kemp went to work as a pinker and hand finisher in a garment factory in New York. She joined Local 22 of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) in 1933; this was the beginning of her involvement in the American trade union movement, which eventually included participation in the workers' education movement, African trade union movements, labor education worldwide (particularly for women), and the women's movement.
A member of the executive board and the education committee of Local 22, Kemp was education director of Local 132 of the Plastic Button and Novelty Workers' Union, 1942-1945, and ran for State Assembly of New York County on the American Labor Party ticket in 1942. She was appointed to a War Price and Rationing Board of the Office of Price Administration (1944), and in 1945 became the first Black woman to represent the AFL abroad, serving as its delegate on a trip sponsored by the Office of War Information to observe wartime conditions for workers in Great Britain.
Beginning in 1951 Kemp became increasingly active, through the AFL, in labor unions in several African countries that were simultaneously working for national independence. In 1955 she was one of five non-African observers (and the only woman) at the first International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) conference, held in Accra, Gold Coast (later Ghana). In 1964 Kemp served as advisor to and member of the workers' delegation from the United States to the 48th Session of the International Labor Organization conference in Geneva. She returned, in 1966, to the ILGWU as a general organizer, and later worked with the A. Philip Randolph Institute.
In the late 1920s Kemp married Owen Springer; they had one son, Eric. In 1965 she married James Kemp. She has two grandchildren.
From the description of Papers, 1942-1981 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 232006972
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|African American women|
|Labor unions--Officials and employees|
|Labor unions--Political activity|
|African American women--Interviews|
|Working class--Scholarships, fellowships, etc|
|International labor activities|
|Clothing workers--Labor unions|
|Labor unions and education|
|International Women's Year, 1975|
|Labor unions and communism|
|Working class women|
|Women labor union members|
|Women in the labor movement|