In conjunction with the recent publication of his biography, Boss of the Grips – The Life of James H. Williams and the Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal, historian Eric K. Washington will lead you on a journey that, beginning with his MAS tours during the Grand Central Terminal centennial, came to trace the steps of a bygone era. Travel by train, though once luxurious, was dependent upon the men who handled the baggage for thousands of travelers. These were specifically the legions of Harlem-based African-American men whom “Chief” Williams organized to form the essential labor force of America’s most august railroad station — the Red Caps. With Washington’s biography, Williams must now be considered, along with Cornelius Vanderbilt and Jacqueline Onassis, one of the great heroes of Grand Central’s storied past.
Saturday, February 15
11:00 AM — 1:00 PM