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Author Topic: Mechanisms of Prejudice: Hidden and Not Hidden  (Read 14529 times)

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AGelbert

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September 26, 2021

Captain Mulzac and his crew in England after the maiden voyage of the SS Booker T. Washington.

Pioneering Black Ship Captain Honored Alongside Merchant Marine Veterans Of WWII

SNIPPET:

The featured honoree at this year’s AMMV event was civil rights leader and US Merchant Marine World War II hero Captain Hugh Mulzac, master of the SS Booker T Washington.

Born in the British West Indies in 1886, Mulzac went to sea after high school, sailing on British vessels. He later attended the Nautical School in Swansea, in the United Kingdom, earning a mate’s license. He sailed as a ship’s officer in World War I, and came to the United States, becoming a citizen in 1918.

By 1920, Mulzac passed the examination as a U.S. shipmaster, but there were no shipboard berths available to a black captain. Although he held a master’s license, which qualified him to be a ship’s captain, he worked for the next 20 years mostly in the steward’s department of various shipping lines. This was the only shipboard work he could find, and he became an expert in foodservice management.

With the outbreak of World War II, Mulzac recognized an opportunity to use his license and command a vessel. At age 56, he was named master of the new Liberty 🗽 ship Booker T. Washington, christened by legendary opera singer Marian Anderson. Mulzac insisted on having an integrated crew, not the all-black crew that had been planned. The U.S. Maritime Commission relented, and the Booker T. Washington made 22 round-trip voyages with Mulzac at the helm.

Also Read: Captain Mulzac WW2 Hero and America’s First Black Master Mariner

“There were many other black ship captains throughout history before him. Many of the great abolitionists in this country were seafarers but they were stripped of their human rights by the Negro Seaman’s 😈 Act of 1822. By World War II much of the history of proud black seafarers had been long forgotten.” said Captain Robert Cook President of the Organization of Black Maritime Graduates. “Honoring Captain Mulzac is important so that every American understands how far we have come.”

A Union Apology

After World War II ended Captain Mulzac never sailed as master again because of prejudice enforced by the Master, Mates, and Pilots Union (MM&P).

“In looking back I discovered ours was a history of discrimination based on race, gender, and religion from the founding of MM&P until we were forced to integrate, to open our ranks to all qualified people in the 1960’s.” said MM&P representative Jeremy Hope at the event. “for this we apologize to Captain Mulzacs family and every mariner our policies hurt.”

Congressional Gold Medal

Full article:
https://gcaptain.com/captain-hugh-mulzac-awards-diner/
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

 

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