G. Robert Vincent Voice Library
Lansing Auto Town Gallery

Eldridge Cook, African-American GM Manager, discusses his career at the Fisher Body plant in Lansing, MI

Cookie talks about college and teaching in Mississippi, coming to Lansing in 1963 and 1964 to work summers in the factory and returning south to teach in the fall. In 1965, Cookie permanently hired into Fisher. He describes a workplace with few minorities and one black supervisor. Cookie comments on the 1970 UAW strike, discrimination and race. He recalls applying and being tested for supervision but was told he failed the test. In 1971 he felt he was forced onto supervision to help GM comply with new laws. Cookie recalls that some workers would not accept their paychecks from a black. He talks about cooking a roast in the paint ovens, area dinners, the salaried dining room and retirement.

  • Field notes