Guide to the Philip F. Rubio Papers, 2004-2006, 2009


Philip F. Rubio earned his Ph.D. in history from Duke University in 2006. From 2003-2007, he taught at the Center for Documentary Studies. The collection largely contains oral history interviews with African American postal workers generated by original research performed by Philip F. Rubio for his dissertation and eventual published work.

Collection Details

Collection Number
Philip F. Rubio papers
2004-2006, 2009
Rubio, Philip F.
0.5 Linear Feet, 81 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Material in English

Collection Overview

The collection includes 29 audiocassette tapes, one CD, 20 tapelogs, one transcription and 30 signed permission slips from oral history interviews conducted by Rubio for his dissertation, "There's Always Work at the Post Office: African Americans Fight for Jobs, Justice, and Equality at the United States Post Office, 1940-1971" (published in book form in 2010 by the University of North Carolina Press).

Between 2004 and 2009, Rubio interviewed 31 current and retired postal workers who had worked at post offices in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Washington, DC. The interviews focus on the significance of post office work in the black community and the black-led fight against the white supremacy at the post office as well as within its unions. They also dwell on union politics, relations between postal unions, postal working conditions, workplace and community activism, and the Great Postal Wildcat Strike of 1970.

Those interviewed were as follows (some interviewed together): Countee Abbott, John Adams and Dorothea Hoskins, Sam Armstrong and Samuel Lovett, Eleanor Bailey, Joann Flagler, Frederick John, Carlton Tilley and Gregory Wilson, Felix Bell, Sr., William H. Burrus, Jr., Don Cantriel, Joseph Henry, Douglas C. Holbrook, Jimmy Mainor, Al Marino, Frank Orapello and Vincent Sombrotto, Raydell Moore, Cleveland Moore, James Morris, Noel Murrain, James Newman, Jeff Perry and Richard Thomas, D. James Pinderhughes, George Booth Smith, Donald P. Stone, Daisy Strachan, and Tommie L. Wilson.

Typed tapelogs and one transcription accompany these interviews. Use copies will need to be made for researchers prior to use.

This collection was acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Center for African American History and Culture.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Using These Materials

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Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

In addition, original audiovisual materials are closed to patron use. Research Services staff need to produce use copies before contents can be accessed.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

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The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Philip F. Rubio Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Tapelogs: Interviews from 2004
Box 1
Tapelogs: Interviews from 2004-2006
Box 1
Transcript: James Morris, compiled 2005 Apr. 21
Box 1
Agreements, 2004-2006
Box 1
Oral History Interviews: 29 audiocassettes, 2004-2006
Box 1
Oral History Interview: 1 CD, 2009
Box 1

Historical Note

Taken from

Philip Rubio was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1950. He moved to Durham, North Carolina in 1988 and worked full-time for the post office from 1980-2000. During that time, he earned a bachelor's degree through Vermont College's distance-learning program and earned a master's degree from North Carolina Central University in 1998.

In 2000, Rubio took early retirement from the Postal Service and entered Duke's graduate program in history. He received his Ph.D. in 2006. From 2003-2007, he taught as a teaching fellow and adjunct instructor at the Center for Documentary Studies. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of History at North Carolina A&T State University.

Related Material

  • Dissertation: "There's Always Work at the Post Office: African American Postal Workers and the Fight for Jobs, Justice, and Equality," 2006 (Duke University Archives)

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.


The Philip F. Rubio Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in March 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Kimberly Sims, March 2011

Encoded by Kimberly Sims, March 2011

Accession 2011-0057 is described in this finding aid.

Other Notes

Rubio, Philip F.. There's Always Work at the Post Office: African American Postal Workers and the Fight for Jobs, Justice, and Equality. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.