Tomorrow night’s show is sold out, but there are still tickets available for tonight’s show and tomorrow’s matinee; for ticket info go to dclabor.org and click on calendar.
Steve calls it an opera but “Love Songs” is also part musical, part revival meeting and all inspiring.
It’s nominally about a historic strike led by African-American women at the R J Reynolds factory in Winston-Salem, North Carolina during the 1940’s but it’s also a reminder of how far we’ve come – and just how far we haven’t – since the days of racist Jim Crow segregation.
And “Love Songs” – not surprisingly, given its title – is also a good old-fashioned love story, not just about love between characters, but about love of country, love of justice.
Jones mixes jazz, blues, gospel, pop and folk music, which is performed with unrestrained gusto by a cast that includes professional and amateur actors and the DC Labor Chorus, all under the expert direction of Elise Bryant, who also directs the Labor Heritage Foundation, the non-profit cultural arts organization that works to strengthen the labor movement through the use of music and arts, and which is sponsoring the production.
Do yourself a favor and go see “Love Songs,” it’s just the shot of inspiration you’ve been looking for.
Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1840, President Martin Van Buren issued an executive order granting the 10-hour day to all government employees engaged in manual labor.
In 1883, cowboys earning $40 per month began what was to become an unsuccessful two-and-a-half-month strike for higher wages at five ranches in the Texas Panhandle.
In 1927, Cesar Chavez was born in Yuma, Arizona.
And in 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation establishing the Civilian Conservation Corps to help alleviate suffering during the Depression. By the time the program ended after the start of World War II it had provided jobs for more than six million men and boys. The average enrollee gained 11 pounds in his first three months.
Today’s labor quote is by composer Steve Jones from “Love Songs from the Liberation Wars”
Capitalism is a giant cloud of cigarette smoke blown in the face of humanity
Working folk just cough and choke
All for the boss’s vanity
They try to deny
They take 9/10 of the pie
This land was made for you and me!
Capitalism is a Just Cigarette Smoke in the Face of Humanity
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