In January 2019, journalist Sarah Jaffe reported on the strike by United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), which brought together educators and school staff, parents, students, and community members in a massive mobilization for higher pay, smaller classes, and more school nurses. The successful work stoppage captured national attention for the broad base of support UTLA had cultivated in opposition to the forces of government austerity and privatization. Jaffe began her dispatch by recounting a standoff between teachers and a delivery driver at the picket line in front of the Harry Bridges Span School, named, she noted, after the leftist founder of the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union (ILWU).1 Jaffe keenly observed how the school’s memorialization of Bridges linked radical activists of the past and present. As the picketers held the line, the crowd of supportive onlookers included a group of current ILWU members. Explaining their presence at the school,...
Taking Labor History Public: An Overview of the Field
RICHARD ANDERSON is a postdoctoral scholar at Pennsylvania State University’s Humanities Institute. He serves as an editor of the National Council on Public History’s blog, History@Work and is currently completing a book manuscript titled Windy City Spoils: Machine Politics and Urban Liberalism in Richard J. Daley’s Chicago, 1945–1976.
Richard Anderson; Taking Labor History Public: An Overview of the Field. Labor 1 March 2020; 17 (1): 15–24. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15476715-7962768
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