J.W. Cleary and Benny Heady, co-grand marshals of the Paducah Labor Day Parade (photo by Berry Craig)

Paducah Labor Day parade co-grand marshals always carry their union and NAACP cards

Berry Craig
Berry Craig

The late W.C. Young, a national labor and civil rights leader from Paducah, often said that he never went anywhere without his union card and his NAACP card tucked in his wallet.

Neither do J.W. Cleary and Benny Heady, co-grand marshals of this year’s Paducah Labor Day parade, which rolled up Broadway this morning.

“I always tell people I wouldn't be where I am today without the labor union and the NAACP,” said Cleary, local NAACP branch president and a retired Steelworker. “The labor union tries to level the playing field. So does the NAACP. I’m proud to be a member of both.”

Heady, a retiree member of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 184, agreed. “I've been able to have a good  living because of the union,” said the NAACP branch first vice president. “I also have my union card and my NAACP card in my wallet. Yes, they go hand in hand, and I’m also proud to be a member of both.”

Read the rest at the KY AFL-CIO web site.

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Berry Craig

Berry Craig is a professor emeritus of history at West KY Community College, and an author of seven books and co-author of two more. (Read the rest on the Contributors page.)