Percy green honored by harris-stowe local news gaz 67 sprzedam


Green has undoubtedly made sacrifices – including losing his job and being arrested more than 100 times – during his decades of fighting for equality. Between 1965 and 1985, Green led some of St. Louis’ most historic civil rights demonstrations with his group ACTION (Action Committee to Improve Opportunities for Negroes), which was a nonviolent, direct-action protest organization made entirely of interracial volunteer members.

Prior to ACTION, Green garnered national attention in 1964 when he climbed the Gateway Arch, along with Richard Daly, to call attention to the lack of African-American workers on the massive, historic construction project. He also participated in the Jefferson Bank demonstration, along with then-alderman, future Congressman Bill Clay in 1963.

“Harris-Stowe State University is honored to recognize those to whom we are so very much indebted,” said Harris-Stowe President Dwaun Warmack. “Without these social justice pioneers, we would not be able to enjoy the many liberties we have today. They opened doors, creating opportunities for the generations that followed. Our goal is to make sure their efforts are never forgotten.”

“Kicking off the annual event with Mr. Green is quite satisfying,” said Charlene Lofton Jones, assistant professor of political science at Harris-Stowe and the program’s coordinator. “Percy has been on the front line of social justice efforts for many, many decades.”

Green has a master’s degree in social work from Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from Saint Louis University. He keeps a book containing articles of ACTION’s demonstrations during the 1970s. One of the articles details exactly how two white women, who were ACTION members, were able to sneak into the Veiled Prophet Ball in 1972 and expose the Veil Prophet to be Tom K. Smith, then-vice president of Monsanto.

Two years before ACTION’s VP protests began, the group launched a protest campaign to demand “More and Better-Paying Jobs for Black Males, the family chief bread winner.” The campaign targeted large local businesses, including Southwestern Bell (now AT&T), Laclede Gas (now Spire), Union Electric (now Ameren), McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing), and McDonald Construction (the general contractor that built the Gateway Arch).

ACTION wanted to generate good-paying jobs for black males, specifically 4,080 jobs spread across all of the targeted companies, a number that reflected the 10 percent of St. Louis’ population made up of African Americans at that time. When ACTION’s demands weren’t met within the allotted time span, the public demonstrations against each company began.

“If a CEO belonged to such an organization, then how likely was it that same CEO would be fair to a black male?” Green said. “According to ACTION, this racist social connection was the glue that reinforced these CEOs’ practices of not hiring African-American males into decent-paying jobs.”

Green said, “Apart from the personal economic hardships and sacrifices that I have encountered due to lack of employment, I am proud to have played a small role in causing some positive changes for blacks, especially black males, being hired and receiving contracts.”

“The Civil Rights movement witnessed a very turbulent, controversial, and certainly productive movement that swept not only across the country, but across the St. Louis region as well,” Warmack said. “Stalwarts and social justice icons such as Attorney Frankie Muse Freeman, Congressman William L. Clay and certainly Percy Green II, played major roles among black and white, young and old, rich and poor, in moving us forward.”