September 11, 1881

Written by: Maria Hernandez

Funeral of black union teamster James Hawkins draws interracial crowd of 2,000-3,000 people. The several block-long procession included numerous brass bands, each at the lead of different labor unions and civic groups. 500 members of the Teamsters' and Loaders' Union, to which Hawkins belonged, led the procession followed by 400 black cotton yardmen. "Marching behind the black mourners, in an unprecedented show of recognition, were 800 white cotton yardmen and screwmen." Hawkins was shot and killed during a scuffle with Police Sergeant Thomas Reynolds during the 10th day of an interracial strike (10,000 strong) by white and black waterfront workers.