Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit


Home » Products » Books-Resources » Union Divided: Black Musicians’ Fight for Labor Equality

Union Divided: Black Musicians’ Fight for Labor Equality


Leta E. Miller follows the AFM’s history of Black locals, which were chartered alongside white locals in the same territories, from their origins and successes in the 1920s through Depression-era crises to the fraught process of desegregation in the 1960s and 1970s. Millier details how Black AFM locals sought to ensure employment and competitive wages for members with always evolving solutions to problems. She includes the voices of the musicians and interviews with union members and officers who took part in the difficult integration of Black and white locals. The book illuminates the complex working world of unionized Black musicians and the AFM’s journey to racial inclusion.

Union Divided: Black Musicians’ Fight for Labor Equality, by Leta E. Miller,

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