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Interchange – Brief: Michael Honey on Love, Solidarity, and the Black Freedom Song


Michael Honey discusses non-violent theorist and organizer James Lawson, and John Handcox, the Great Depression-era tenant farmer and union advocate.

Honey’s recent short film, Love and Solidarity, is about the work of James Lawson, who served as nonviolent theorist, teacher and organizer for Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, among others. As a Methodist minister in Los Angeles, Lawson has spent the last thirty years organizing low wage immigrants and workers of color in in Los Angeles, using the principles of nonviolent direct action.

Honey’s 2013 book, Sharecropper’s Troubador, is an oral history of John Handcox, who organized black and white farmers alike on behalf of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union and became one of the most beloved folk singers of the prewar labor movement. All at one of the hardest times and places to be black in America.

Michael Honey is the Fred T. and Dorothy G. Haley Endowed Professor of the Humanities and Professor of Labor and Ethnic Studies and American History at the University of Washington at Tacoma. He is the author of Sharecropper’s Troubadour, “All Labor Has Dignity,” and Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King’s Last Campaign, among others.

Love and Solidarity–The Story of Rev. James Lawson
‘Sharecropper’s Troubadour’: The life of singer, union organizer John Handcox

“If We All Loved Each Other” by Mike Honey
“No More Mourning” by John Handcox
“Raggedy, Raggedy Are We” by John Handcox
“Hard to Say Goodbye” by Mike Honey

Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

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