This is the second of two episodes drawn from “Black Labor Struggles Over Time,” the Black Work Talk panel at the 2022 Labor Notes conference. Panelists Jerome Scott (Project South and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers), Stacy Davis Gates (Chicago Teachers Union), Susan DeCarava (NewsGuild of New York), and Chris Smalls (Amazon Labor Union) discussed what it means to support Black workers at this moment in time. Not surprisingly, given the depth of experience among them, their answers covered the full spectrum from mutual aid to revolutionary vision, from direct action to skillful rooting in Black culture.
“What we’re doing now is building something,” Gates said. “We gotta test hypotheses and fail at some stuff because nobody in here can tell me how we overcame, because we are still overcomING….we have to be willing to do the thing we haven’t done before.”