The National Iron & Steel heritage Museum held a “Coatesville Steel: The Black Experience” event in February last year as part of its program to honor Black History Month.
The event, which can be viewed above or here on YouTube, welcomed a group of former black steelworkers. They take a trip down memory lane and share their experiences at Coatesville Steel.
One of the four panelists was Michael Brown .He joined Lukens Steel in 1967 as a nineteen-year-old, but soon quit as his sweeping job paid very little.
He rejoined the company as a grinder during the hiring boom in 1988.
He worked there for two years before being sent to the finishing building.
“Back then there were only so many jobs they would allow black guys to do,” said Brown.
He finally got promoted after the company started making more money and white workers moved up.
After the opening introductions, panelists share stories from their time with the company and answer questions. The lively discussion has been welcomed as part of a new perspective from members of the large and diverse Lukens Steel family.
Check out previous VISTA Today coverage of National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum here.