Charleston Cigar Factory

In 1945, a group of union workers, the majority of whom were Black women, walked off their jobs at the American Tobacco Company Cigar Factory and launched a strike that lasted five months. The strike was a response to low wages, poor working conditions, and racially discriminatory employment practices. The Cigar Factory was one of Charleston’s largest employers, and while most strikers were African American women, some black and white men and women also participated.