Civil rights legend Percy Green to be honored at 2nd annual Gerald Horne WES Awards

ST. LOUIS CIVIL RIGHTS LEGEND Percy Green, II, will be honored at the second annual Gerald Horne/St. Louis Workers’ Education Society Awards ceremony on Sept. 21. – Mary Delach Leonard/St. Louis Public Radio photo



St. Louis civil rights legend Percy Green, II, will be honored at the 2nd Annual Gerald Horne/St. Louis Workers’ Education Society (WES) Awards ceremony Sept. 21 in St. Louis.

The program will be held at the WES headquarters, 2929 S. Jefferson Ave. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the program will start at 7 p.m. Stewart Acuff, retired director of organizing with the AFL-CIO and life-long union activist, will be the keynote speaker.


Green, a founding member of the Action Committee to Improve Opportunities for Negroes and a member of the St. Louis chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality, has been actively involved in issues of civil, social and economic justice for over 50 years. 

Green became widely known as an activist in 1964 when he and Richard Daly climbed a ladder at the Gateway Arch – which was still under construction – to protest the lack of minority hiring on the public project.

Later, he brought a federal lawsuit against McDonnell Douglas Corporation and carried it to the Supreme Court, helping make it possible to prove discrimination in the workplace.

Green went limp in protest after being arrested for climbing the Arch. Green says he wasn’t about to walk to jail. “I didn’t feel that the crime I committed was a greater crime than was committed by builders of the Arch in that they were discriminating against blacks in terms of employment and doing contractual work,” Green told St. Louis Public Radio in a 2015 interview. “The moment they said, ‘You’re under arrest,’ I went limp.’’ – Paul Ockrassa / St. Louis Globe-Democrat photo


Gerald Horne, whom the award is named after, received the first award last year for exemplifying the mission of WES, which is committed to ongoing worker education with a special focus on the intersection of workers’ rights, racial justice, sexual and gender minority rights and disabilities empowerment.

Horne, a St. Louis native and WES member, is the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston and the author of over 30 books on workers’ rights, the history of the Labor Movement, U.S. history and African American history.

Horne is scheduled to make a short video presentation at the award ceremony. Copies of his books will be available for purchase.


Tickets are $25 per person or $200 for a group of 10. Drinks and finger-foods will be provided. Program booklet ads are $500 (full-page), $300 (half-page), and $150 (quarter-page).

For tickets, make checks payable and mail to: WES, 2929 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, MO 63118. For more information call 314-240-5477 or email


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