January 1 marked the 100th anniversary of the Rosewood Massacre in which many Black residents of a rural Florida town were killed and the town entirely destroyed by a mob of white people. Journalist Gary Moore’s efforts, in 1982, to share survivors’ stories led to some compensation for property loss and greater awareness of the event.
January 11 is the death anniversary of civil rights leader Vernon Dahmer, killed in 1966. On January 9, 1966 he announced on the radio that he would pay poll taxes for anyone who could not afford to register to vot. On January 10, his home was firebombed by the KKK; he guarded the front door while his wife and children escaped, then died the following day from smoke inhalation and severe burns.
Zinn Education Project
January 11 is also the anniversary of the launch of the Lawrence Massachusetts textile strike in 1912, which resulted in some change of working conditions and an example of successful resistance to management as well as the inspirational poem and song, “Bread and Roses.” In honor of the occasion, below is the DC Labor Chorus singing “Bread and Roses” a few years ago.
Each of these historical events is part of the history of structural violence in the US and include examples of resistance and repair. We need those examples in order to understand more about our current situation
And we need to acknowledge the grief that weighs so heavily, if unevenly, on our town and beyond
Image description: Short YouTube song video shows DC Labor Chorus — group of adult singers, in varied colored logo t-shirts, with director at front of the group and audience visible in some shots.