LAWCHA is an organization of scholars, teachers, students, labor educators, and activists who seek to promote public and scholarly awareness of labor and working-class history through research, writing, and organizing.
Since the 1980s, Bob Rossi has been working on a social history of Colorado coal mining communities and an account of the 1927–28 Colorado mine workers’ strike. A part of this work has entailed documenting the lives of Syrian and Lebanese families in the Colorado coalfields. Rossi is a retired union organizer who had family members employed in coal mining. He recognized the need to capture these stories and thus provide nuanced understanding of the Syrian and Lebanese immigrant experience as related to the coal industry and labor strikes. With a focus on the mining communities of Walsenburg and Trinidad, the following post offers some of Rossi’s findings and details how Syrians and Lebanese helped build, benefitted from, and demonstrated against Colorado coal mining companies. This essay was originally published in the Moise A. Khayrallah Center Newsletter in September 1921. We’ll be publishing a second essay from Rossi next week. Read more →