Labor in Film: Ten Favorites/ Erik Swallow

Workers and labor have long been represented in film, from the first film projected for a paying audience (Louis Lumière’s 1895 documentary short “Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory”) to the massive output of movies of today’s various movie producers.

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You Can Bring Your Sheet Cake, But Do Show Up/ Erin Langley

Standing up for people so they won’t be murdered is not a radical agenda. We are not showing up to pay for the crimes of our ancestors. That would imply that the instinct to protect life arises from debt. We do owe a debt, but protecting human life is common decency. We need to show up because it is the right thing to do.

Rust & Remembrance: Jacob’s Ladder, Part 1

Marine diesel oil is the color of burnt sienna and emits an odor that smells like fermented soil, all earthy and rich, harsh but intoxicating. Work around tankers a while and you pick up a nose for it, like some insufferable wine buff. You become an aficionado of distillates.

Felony Record: Ban the Box

I’ve run the job search gauntlet before and having a record makes it even more difficult to change employers. Staying at my current job, no matter my happiness level, means not having to start over in proving my value and capability. Of the things holding me back, foremost is my fear of the box.

Bootstraps: Single Mother/ Courtney Gutierrez

I answer emails and nurse and write treatment goals and rock the baby and meet over the phone and jiggle a pacifier and enter data and bounce a vibrating chair with my feet and all the time I am buzzing, buzzing, buzzing inside.

Black, I: The Truth About Slavery

I was in the ninth grade, the only black girl in a classroom of white peers, when I learned the truth about slavery. At the time, I thought I knew all there was to know. No fault of my mother’s; she just didn’t have the heart to tell me the whole truth…

Black Mourning: Let Our Grief Be Our Own

We must let our grief and our celebration, our individual experience, be our own. Because given the voice to speak our own way, we all have something distinct to say about our collective history and future…