posts categorized asLaborOnline Features

Poor Whites and the Labor Crisis in the Slave South

by on July 17, 2017

While studies on southern slaveholders, yeomen, and even the enslaved abound, relatively little has been written about the Deep South’s white working-class. My new book, Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South, seeks to illuminate the lives of about one-third of the cotton belt’s whites, who owned neither land nor slaves.

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LAWCHA In Seattle: 2017 Conference Recap

by on July 6, 2017

The Scales of Struggle conference featured the largest program of any LAWCHA conference to date features nearly 100 panels, workshops, films, and performances, along with five plenary sessions, stretched across four days. Official registration topped 460 with another 100-150 attending the free evening sessions.

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Women Hold the Keys to New Working-Class Prosperity

by on July 4, 2017

America rediscovered its working class during the 2016 election, and many Democrats and progressives now call for fresh policies to address the nation’s crisis of bad jobs and stagnant wages. Twenty-first century working-class prosperity, however, must involve a reinvigorated labor movement.

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Fear of Hygge and Working-Class Social Capital

by on July 3, 2017

One of the contenders for the Oxford Dictionaries’ “word of the year” in 2016 is the Danish word hygge (pronounced hoo-guh). As defined by Oxford, it denotes “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment and well-being.” According to The New Yorker, hygge has “made inroads with an international audience” because it is often seen as the source of Denmark’s ranking as among the happiest places on earth in international surveys.

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Labor Mobilizations and Movements: The 2017 Midwest Labor and Working-Class History Colloquium

by on June 29, 2017

The Midwest Labor and Working-Class History (MLWCH) colloquium met at the University of Memphis on June 2nd, 2017.  The one-day event included academic papers and roundtables that addressed larger labor and working-class issues.  This year’s theme, “Labor Mobilizations and Movements: From the Local to the Global,” attracted an impressive swath of academic scholars, public historians, and activists who addressed a range of historical and contemporary topics.

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Black Education, Racism, and Class: Reflections from a Charter High School Graduation

by on June 20, 2017

This May I attended the commencement ceremony for a young cousin who was one of 117 graduates from an overwhelmingly black charter high school in a south suburb of Chicago.  Launched in 2010, the school – which I will dub “South Charter High” – was the brainchild of black educators, and working-class and middle-class parents, a fair share of them former Chicagoans displaced from the city by urban redevelopment and a skyrocketing cost of living. 

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After Paycheck Taxes

by on June 6, 2017

I am a public employee. And what is worse, I work at a university. Mine is a public university sucking the lifeblood out of middle class Americans who, if they did not have to pay my salary, would otherwise have a much reduced tax burden.

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