At 101 years old, Lee Wesley Gibson of Keatchie, Louisiana is the oldest surviving member of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Gibson served as a pullman porter for 38 years. Back in the day, the job of pullman porter was considered a middle-class position, something Gibson, who was raised by a poor single mom, took pride in.
As a teenager, Gibson migrated with his mother and sibling to Marshall, Texas. At first he desired a career in tailoring, but couldn’t afford secondary trade school. He took odd jobs in Los Angeles to make ends meet before getting the chance to work as a pullman porter in 1936 at the recommendation of his church deacon.
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