The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Reverend Addie Wyatt

Share on Social Media

Information about Reverend Addie Wyatt

Profile image of Reverend Addie Wyatt

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Labor Leader
Pastor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Pink
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken, Macaroni, Cheese
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Chicago, Illinois
Favorite Quote:
I'm Hopping But Not Stopping.

Birthplace

Born:
3/8/1924
Birth Location:
Brookhaven, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Labor Leader
Pastor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Pink
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken, Macaroni, Cheese
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Chicago, Illinois
Favorite Quote:
I'm Hopping But Not Stopping.

Birthplace

Born:
3/8/1924
Birth Location:
Brookhaven
See how Reverend Addie Wyatt is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Addie L. Wyatt was born on March 8, 1924, in Brookhaven, Mississippi. The oldest girl of eight children, Wyatt (then Cameron) looked to her mother, Maggie Cameron, as an example. When Wyatt was only three, she gave her first recitation in church. This began a career in public speaking which reaches through religion to human rights, which represents a lifetime of work in which her actions speak even louder than her powerful words.

Wyatt is one of the nation's foremost labor leaders. She was the first female local union president of the United Packinghouse Food and Allied Workers. She began working for the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America in 1941 and became the organization's first female international vice president. She and her husband, Dr. Claude Wyatt, Jr., founded the Wyatt Choral Ensemble in 1944. Wyatt was ordained in 1955 and the next year the Wyatts began working closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They helped found Operation Breadbasket and serve on the board of Operation PUSH, People United to Serve Humanity.

Wyatt believes in a holistic Gospel and that all things are connected, and this can be seen in her work. Wyatt served as the director of the women's affairs and human rights departments in the Amalgamated Meat Cutters union. Eleanor Roosevelt appointed her to serve on the Labor Legislation Committee of the Commission on the Status of Women, which presented its report in 1963. In 1974, she helped found the Coalition of Labor Union Women and delivered the keynote address at the founding meeting to 3,200 participants. Wyatt was a founding member of the National Organization for Women and a leader in the struggle for an Equal Rights Amendment.

Today, Wyatt serves as co-pastor of Vernon Park Church of God in Chicago, Illinois. The church, which Wyatt and her husband helped found, has approximately 1,000 members and is widely know for its work with homeless people, seniors and youth. She works for peace and has supported worthy political candidates. She was named one of Time Magazine's Women of the Year in 1975 and received a similar honor from The Ladies Home Journal in 1977. Ebony named her one of the 100 most influential black Americans from 1980 to 1984.

Rev. Addie Wyatt passed away on March 28, 2012.

See how Reverend Addie Wyatt is related to other HistoryMakers
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Addie Wyatt interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Addie Wyatt's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Addie Wyatt describes her mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Addie Wyatt discusses her father's life
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Addie Wyatt shares her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Addie Wyatt recounts her family's history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Addie Wyatt describes the sights, sounds and smells of Brookhaven, Mississippi, her childhood home
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Addie Wyatt revisits her childhood home, Brookhaven, Mississippi--Part I
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Addie Wyatt revisits her childhood home, Brookhaven, Mississippi--Part II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Addie Wyatt shares memories from her family life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Addie Wyatt discusses her awareness of racism as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Addie Wyatt reveals her childhood reputation of being an "old child"
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Addie Wyatt discusses her family's migration to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Addie Wyatt discusses her school life in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Addie Wyatt remembers her family's financial struggles--Part I
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Addie Wyatt remembers her family's financial struggles--Part II
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - As a child, Addie Wyatt contributes to her family's finances
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Addie Wyatt talks about her first job and her involvement in labor union politics
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Addie Wyatt reflects on her career ascent within the labor union
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Addie Wyatt describes how her labor union empowered women and minority workers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Addie Wyatt details the negotiating skills she acquired working for the labor union
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Addie Wyatt gets support from her family as she becomes a labor union leader
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Addie Wyatt discusses her challenging management's treatment of female employees
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Addie Wyatt describes her first victory as a labor union leader
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Addie Wyatt becomes influential in labor politics at the national level
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Addie Wyatt copes with hostility in the labor union movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Addie Wyatt describes managing work and home life after the death of her mother
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Addie Wyatt describes her long-standing work relationship with Rev. Willie T. Barrow
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Addie Wyatt describes the support she received from women union members
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Addie Wyatt discusses her career ascent while working for the labor union
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Addie Wyatt discusses the formation of her ministry, Vernon Park Church of God
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Addie Wyatt contributes to civil rights efforts in Montgomery, Alabama
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Addie Wyatt describes a powerful encounter with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Addie Wyatt describes violence at a Chicago civil rights march
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Addie Wyatt fights for women's equality in the workplace and pay equity
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Addie Wyatt discusses common objections to women's roles in the workplace and "equal pay for equal work"
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Addie Wyatt discusses the commonalities among the various freedom movements of the 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Addie Wyatt expresses pride in having achieved greater freedom for minorities
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Addie Wyatt calls for continued struggles for peace, justice, freedom and equality
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Addie Wyatt describes the need for communication between generations of African Americans
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Addie Wyatt describes the role of the church in cultivating better citizens
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Addie Wyatt describes that her faith in God gives strength in adverse times
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Addie Wyatt reflects on her parents and considers her legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Addie Wyatt discusses the accomplishments of her ministry, the Vernon Park Church of God
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Photo - Addie Wyatt meets First Lady Rosalyn Carter at the White House, Washington, D.C., ca. 1977-1981
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Photo - Addie Wyatt's mother, Maggie Mae Cameron, ca. 1944
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Photo - Addie Wyatt attends a meeting on labor issues at the White House, Washington, D.C., ca. 1977-1981
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Photo - Addie Wyatt meets with other ministers following a church conference
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Photo - Addie Wyatt attends an event at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition headquarters with Dr. Thomas Skinner, Chicago, Illinois, not dated
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Photo - Addie Wyatt and husband Rev. Claude S. Wyatt, Jr. pose with an African guest at Vernon Park Church of God, Chicago, Illinois, not dated
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Photo - Addie Wyatt's husband Rev. Claude S. Wyatt Jr. (right) poses with a popular newsman, not dated
  • Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Photo - Addie Wyatt shows a picture of former union leader and U.S. Congressman Charles A. Hayes from Illinois, not dated
  • Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Photo - Addie Wyatt sits at her desk at the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of America's union office, May, 1975
  • Tape: 7 Story: 13 - Photo - Addie Wyatt is one of 'Time' magazine's "Women of the Year," January 5, 1976
  • Tape: 7 Story: 14 - Photo - Rev. Claude S. Wyatt Jr., Rev. Willie Barrow, Clyde Barrow and Addie Wyatt at a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition event, Chicago, Illinois, not dated
  • Tape: 7 Story: 15 - Photo - Addie Wyatt visits a strike, not dated
  • Tape: 7 Story: 16 - Photo - Roland Burris, Alvin Boutte, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, Cirillo McSween and Addie Wyatt at a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition event, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 7 Story: 17 - Photo - Ronald Robinson, Addie Wyatt, Mayor Eugene Sawyer and others celebrate Rev. Claude S. Wyatt, Jr.'s birthday at Vernon Park Church of God, Chicago, Illinois, not dated
  • Tape: 7 Story: 18 - Photo - Addie Wyatt talks with former Pennsylvania Secretary of State, C. Delores Tucker, not dated
  • Tape: 7 Story: 19 - Photo - U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun, Rev. Claude S. Wyatt, Jr., Rev. Willie Barrow and Alderman Rev. Leonard Deville, Chicago, Illinois, not dated
  • Tape: 7 Story: 20 - Photo - Addie Wyatt hugs Geraldine Ferraro during her vice presidential campaign, 1984
  • Tape: 7 Story: 21 - Photo - John Hope Franklin, Addie Wyatt and an unidentified woman at a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition convention, Chicago, Illinois, not dated
  • Tape: 7 Story: 22 - Photo - Addie Wyatt, Emma Beck and an unidentified woman at a women's conference of the union of Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America, held at the Pick-Congress Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, not…
  • Tape: 7 Story: 23 - Photo - Addie Wyatt with Juanita Passmore at a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition convention, Chicago, Illinois, not dated
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Photo - Addie Wyatt with Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer and Alderman Lorraine Dixon, not dated
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Photo - Addie Wyatt poses with an unidentified woman at a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition convention, Chicago, Illinois, not dated
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Photo - Addie Wyatt with Dr. Dorothy Height and others at a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition convention, Chicago, Illinois, not dated
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Photo - Addie Wyatt prepares for a union fundraiser, not dated
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Photo - Rev. Addie Wyatt with prominent clergy and political figures, Chicago, Illinois, not dated
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Photo - Addie Wyatt shakes hands with the former president of the United Food and Commercial Workers of America union, 1979
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Photo - Addie Wyatt with Dr. Dorothy Height and others at a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition convention, Chicago, Illinois, not dated
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Photo - President Jimmy Carter greets Addie Wyatt at the White House, Washington, D.C., 1970s
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Photo - Addie Wyatt and family at her brother's wedding, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1950s
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Photo - Addie Wyatt takes part in a march for the Equal Rights Amendment, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1970s
  • Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Photo - Addie Wyatt exhibits an autographed 'Ebony' magazine cover commemorating the March on Montgomery, Alabama, May, 1965
  • Tape: 8 Story: 12 - Photo - Rev. Addie Wyatt with her husband, Rev. Claude S. Wyatt, Jr., Chicago, Illinois, 1985-1986
  • Tape: 8 Story: 13 - Photo - Rev. Addie Wyatt poses with James Compton, Coretta Scott King, Lerone Bennett, Jr. and others, n.d
  • Tape: 8 Story: 14 - Photo - Addie Wyatt with others at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's celebration, in honor of the first Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Atlanta, Georgia, 1993
  • Tape: 8 Story: 15 - Photo - Addie Wyatt poses with Reverend Jesse Jackson, not dated
  • Tape: 8 Story: 16 - Photo - Addie Wyatt superimposed on husband, Reverend Claude Wyatt's silhouette, not dated
  • Tape: 8 Story: 17 - Photo - Rev. Addie Wyatt with Mayor Richard M. Daley at a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition event honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Chicago, Illinois, not dated
  • Tape: 8 Story: 18 - Photo - Addie Wyatt poses with husband, Reverend Claude Wyatt, not dated
  • Tape: 8 Story: 19 - Photo - Addie Wyatt receives an honorary degree from Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois, 1978
  • Tape: 8 Story: 20 - Photo - Addie Wyatt poses with the officers of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America union, Chicago, Illinois, August, 1976
  • Tape: 8 Story: 21 - Photo - Addie Wyatt poses with Jean Barnett, former vice president of Revlon, Inc., not dated
  • Tape: 8 Story: 22 - Photo - Addie Wyatt poses with her great-granddaughter, Joy Alexandria Hall, not dated
  • Tape: 8 Story: 23 - Photo - Addie Wyatt with Rev. Claude Wyatt, her brother Willie Cameron, and Dr. Alvin Lewis, not dated
  • Tape: 8 Story: 24 - Photo - Addie Wyatt's son, Claude S. Wyatt, III, not dated
  • Tape: 8 Story: 25 - Photo - Addie Wyatt's sister Audrey Dandridge, brothers Emmett and Willie Cameron, and son Renaldo Wyatt, not dated