Frances Albrier Collection

About the Project

Frances M. Albrier (1898-1987) was a civil and equal rights activist, pacifist, and leader. The granddaughter of formerly enslaved people, Frances Albrier moved from Alabama to Berkeley, California, as a young woman in 1920, where she began nearly six decades of civil rights, labor, and community activism. She also worked as a nurse, maid, and union organizer on Pullman trains.

In 1939, Albrier ran for City Council as Berkeley's first African American woman candidate. A year later, she formed the Citizens Employment Council to fight for jobs and fair employment practices for African Americans. After being denied work at the Kaiser Shipyards, during World War II, Albrier fought for and won a position as a woman welder in Richmond, paving the way for thousands of black and women workers to secure jobs with better pay in the massive Bay Area shipyards. She integrated Berkeley?s League of Women Voters and the Red Cross. She also found time to teach Red Cross first aid classes to local youth for many years.

In the 1950s, she created the first Negro History Week displays in Oakland, displayed in a department store window. She was prominent in the National Council of Negro Women and in the Citizenship Education Project, which focused on voter registration. In later life, she agitated for peace and disarmament as well as for of rights for seniors and persons with disabilities.

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