Frank Boyd Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota
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Frank Boyd Park
|Neighborhood/s:||Summit Hill, Saint Paul, Minnesota|
|Saint Paul, Minnesota|
|Ramsey County, Minnesota|
|State/province:|| Minnesota |
Boyd was born in Kansas, and moved to Minnesota in 1904. In St. Paul he joined the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters Union (BSCP) in 1925, and quickly rose to secretary-treasurer in the organization. Boyd’s lifetime of union activism began in St. Paul:
"The gains he helped secure had been more successful than any others in stabilizing and improving employment conditions, thereby helping create a black middle class in St. Paul. Many porters were able to send their children to college, thus contributing to the BSCP's national reputation for turning out more college graduates than any other black occupational group. Many of these graduates went on to form the backbone of NAACP chapters and later become black legislators who provided national leadership."
The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters Union achieved many things for its members and negotiated gains such as hours of rest, vacation, and wages that when averaged by the number of hours worked were better than those of other occupations including firemen, conductors and engineers. It is no wonder then that Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters Union served as a model for black unions throughout the nation.
Active in DFL politics, he was one of the first two African Americans to cast votes in the Electoral College in 1944.
Although Boyd was involved in many national issues he remained extremely active in his local community where he was a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Urban League.
Frank Boyd died on May 2, 1962.
Boyd Park was dedicated on May 1, 1976 during a day-long festival organized in his honor; it was the initiative of the labor-oriented African American citizens of St. Paul and was led by Reginald Harris. The bust was installed a dozen years after the plaque. In 1995 the park was revitalized to become a neighborhood playground and gathering spot, and both the plaque and bust were appropriately sited to a more prominent position within the Boyd Park .
Memories and stories