If we want a stronger public sector labor movement that engages in militant and broad-based social action on behalf of both its members and the people they serve, then a focus on engaging the community is a must. Joe Burns’ book provides some guidance on how we can do that in a way that remains rooted in the values of justice and equality in the workplace that the labor movement has stood for since those textile workers in Lowell, MA walked off the job in the early 19th century. These are values that my father, who came up as a nuclear marine machinist at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, instilled in me as a young boy, and that my grandmother, a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, instilled in him all the same.
|By: Douglas Williams Sunday July 20, 2014 1:59 pm|
|By: Sara Haile-Mariam Monday December 2, 2013 6:30 pm|
We don’t trust each other to the point where it’s reflected in our rhetoric and by what dominates our attention. Controversy sells! How often do good things get covered? To what scale? We’re inundated with the sideshow in a circus with no main act.
What do we actually stand for?
|By: Knut Saturday October 26, 2013 1:59 pm|
Today we have the privilege of holding a conversation with Professor Gavin Wright on his book on the Civil Rights Revolution in the American South, Sharing the Prize. To many of us who came of age before Vietnam (BV), the Civil Rights Movement was a defining moment of moral and political consciousness. I participated in sit-ins in autumn 1960 and spring 1961; in 1963 Gavin was in North Carolina registering black voters. As a nation, the two great Civil Rights laws of 1964 and 1965 represent one of the few things we did right in the past half century, and in this autumn of our discontent, it’s good to remind ourselves that we still may be capable of doing the right thing. But what difference did the Revolution make to the people most directly affected by it?
|By: Philip Radford Tuesday June 18, 2013 6:59 pm|
One of our most important rights as Americans is the freedom to express ourselves. This takes the form of voting, it takes the form of activism, and it takes the form of our First Amendment right to free speech.
This summer, the 9th Circuit Court in California is weighing the question of whether companies have the right to take preemptive legal action against peaceful protesters for hypothetical future protests. This will be an extraordinary decision that could have a significant impact on every American’s First Amendment rights.
|By: Peterr Saturday February 23, 2013 1:59 pm|
It’s one thing to be at the center of a culture-shifting event, and something else entirely to continue to live your life while the rest of the world reacts to that event — and you — for the rest of your life. You are not only changed by the event itself, but continue to be shaped by the reactions that others have to it, and they way they interpret what you have done.
In her portrait of Rosa Parks, Jeanne Theoharis invites her readers to distinguish between these two things, and in so doing, she leads us to re-think who Parks was, what it means to be an activist, and the line between person and symbol. The introduction to the book, entitled “National Honor/Public Mythology: The Passing of Rosa Parks,” lays out the various two-dimensional images of this very three dimensional woman, and from there Theoharis unpacks her story.
And what a story it is.
|By: Mark Karlin Sunday December 23, 2012 1:59 pm|
Anthony Arnove got to know Howard Zinn’s distinctive voice when he collaborated with Zinn on “The People Speak.” As a result, Arnove was selected by the Howard Zinn Trust to edit four decades of his speeches. Although Zinn’s remarks are in text form, his passion, his energy, his humor, and his desire for long-term systemic change jump off the page and inspire the reader.
Zinn’s legacy is inspirational to progressives who believe in healing the world on behalf of the public good. War and the reckless accumulation of wealth – two of the most central features to the American zeitgeist – were anathema to Zinn, who celebrated a just, multi-cultural, egalitarian society.
|By: Riki Ott Sunday November 25, 2012 1:59 pm|
Recently, while standing in an hour-long U.S. Customs line at Washington Dulles, I pulled out Slow Democracy. Listening to others complain about the untenable situation as we crisscrossed back and forth, I read, holding up the book title for all to see. Finally someone said, “What is that book about?” I delivered a succinct summary, consciously using tools I had just learned to include diversity, to all within earshot. What followed was a splendid example of slow democracy.
People rallied from jetlag, shook off fatigue, spoke over wailing babies, and listened to each other share stories and experiences about an issue close to all our hearts: the democracy crisis in America. I was inspired to see in action the main contentions in Slow Democracy: i.e., people care about democracy and want to bring it back to the local level.
|By: Steven Lawson Saturday February 19, 2011 1:59 pm|
Danielle McGuire, the prizewinning author and assistant professor of history at Wayne State University, has written a beautifully crafted and richly researched testimony of the hidden transcript of the Civil Rights Movement. At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance—a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power makes a powerful case for re-imagining the Civil Rights Movement in the South through the lens of sexual violence. This path-breaking book spotlights incidents of sexual assault from the early 1940s to the mid 1970s. Rather than remaining secreted, these brutal attacks inspired community protests among African Americans and their white allies. These grassroots struggles of resistance to white supremacy helped initiate the wider Civil Rights Movement that emerged after World War II and which eventually forced the national government to end racial segregation and black disfranchisement. Also, these community-based networks of support provided the infrastructure for the more familiar history of civil rights activities in Montgomery and Selma, Alabama, Jackson, Mississippi, Tallahassee, Florida and other southern cities.
|By: Glenn W. Smith Sunday August 29, 2010 9:30 am|
Glenn Beck’s various endeavors are so superficial and insincere it’s difficult to understand those who fall for his scams. America, of course, has a long tradition of hucksterism. We are a credulous folk, ready to believe in any old snake oil despite the fact that they always fail.