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File #: 220089    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 2/3/2022 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 2/10/2022
Title: Honoring the labor and power of "Black Rosie" Ruth "Ruthie" Wilson, whose critical industrial work at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, along with six hundred thousand other Black Rosies, helped win World War II and whose labors and wages served as the launching pad of the Black middle class.
Sponsors: Councilmember Brooks, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Gauthier, Councilmember Bass, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Gilmore Richardson, Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Green, Councilmember Thomas, Councilmember Domb
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 22008900, 2. Signature22008900
Title
Honoring the labor and power of "Black Rosie" Ruth "Ruthie" Wilson, whose critical industrial work at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, along with six hundred thousand other Black Rosies, helped win World War II and whose labors and wages served as the launching pad of the Black middle class.

Body
WHEREAS, Ruth Wilson was born in 1922, raised in New Jersey, and after her parents died, moved with her siblings to live with their aunt and uncle. Ruthie later moved to Philadelphia, where she found a job doing laundry at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and did other forms of domestic work; and

WHEREAS, Ruthie quit her laundry job because she was forced to work during her lunch hour. She soon after received a letter from the government telling her she was not allowed to quit because of the war. Accordingly, Ruthie returned, took a test, and was sent to vocational school. She graduated soon after, and reported to the Navy Yard for work once again, this time installing bulkheads on the USS Valley Forge; and

WHEREAS, While her husband served in the military in Europe, Ruthie worked as a sheet metal specialist and raised her two daughters alone. She faced forceful discrimination, including being prohibited from sitting downstairs in segregated movie theaters and being refused service in restaurants. Meanwhile, she performed invaluable industrial war production and single-handedly raised a family; and

WHEREAS, Ruthie's and every Black Rosie's invaluable labor, while men were off fighting abroad during WWII, are often overlooked in historical accounts of the war due to systemic prejudice against Black women. This negligence and underrepresentation contributes to stigmatized narratives that diminish the critical role of Black women in building our country; and

WHEREAS, Thousands of other Black Rosies, like Ruthie, worked in industrial sectors as sheet metal workers, munitions and explosives assemblers, shipbuilders, and on assembly lines as electricians. They also served as...

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