Synopsis by Mark Deming
In the 1920s, the rights of American workers to join a labor union was still considered an open question, and African-Americans were routinely denied their civil and economic rights. So in 1925, when journalist and political activist Asa Philip Randolph and railway car porter Ashley Totten formed the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, it was a bold gesture which proved to have a major impact in both labor and race relations in America. 10,000 Black Men Named George is a made-for-cable feature which dramatizes the struggle of Randolph (played by Andre Braugher) and Totten (Mario Van Peebles) to organize railway porters -- a demanding and sometimes dangerous job which was held almost exclusively by black men, who were paid low wages for demanding hours -- against the staunch opposition of Barton Davis (Kenneth McGreggor), head of the Pullman railway company and a fierce opponent of both unionization and civil rights initiatives. 10,000 Black Men Named George (the title refers to the fact Pullman porters were often called "George" by white passengers, which was considered a racial slur) also features Charles S. Dutton as Milton Webster, a veteran porter who joined the fight to organize; Carla Brothers as Lucille Randolph, Asa's wife who would play a major role in the early years of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; and Brock Peters as Leon Frey, an early member of the who would in time betray their cause. Directed by Robert Townsend, the film was produced for the Showtime premium cable network, where it first aired on February 24, 2002.
Black [race], discrimination, humiliation, passenger, porter, racism, railroad, struggle, union [labor union]