Resources

An eclectic list of websites, films, and literature relating to the history of women textile workers.

 

Labor History

Mother Jones 1903 Children’s Crusade

Oral Histories with North Carolina Mill Workers

Paterson NJ General Strike

Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Lowell National Historical Park

Gastonia, 1929: Strike at the Loray Mill

One Year After Rana Plaza

The Northampton Silk Industry

Books

Emmeline
by Judith Rossner. Novel about life of young girl working at Lowell.

"Mill Girls"
Annotated bibliography of works by and about the Lowell mill workers.

The Color Purple
by Alice Walker. Novel about women of color, and issues of race, class and gender in the American south in the 1930s.

Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States
by Alice Kessler-Harris. History of the movement of women from household to factory.

A People's History Of The United States
by Howard Zinn. American history seen through the eyes of common people.

Films

Norma Rae
1979 drama based on the true story of Crystal Lee Sutton, a millworker at J.P. Stevens textile mill in Roanoke Rapids, NC.

The Uprising of '34
Southern textile workers took the lead in the largest single-industry strike in the history of the United States. Directed by George Story.

Tangled Threads
Documentary on Labor rights activist Kalpona Akter's organizing efforts in Bangladesh's garment industry before and after the Rana Plaza building collapse.

Tears in the Fabric
In Bangladesh, Razia raises her grandchildren after losing her daughters in Rana Plaza disaster. Deeply moving film on the human cost of high fashion.

The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter
Five former "Rosies" recall their histories working in Detroit, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco during WWII.

Wal-Town
Youthful passion and cultural jams explore the ongoing debate over Wal-Mart’s increasing dominance of Canadian retail.

Salt of the Earth
Based on 1950 miners strike in NM, the film deals with prejudice against the Mexican-American workers and role of women.

Roger and Me
Michael Moore's dark comedy on the impact of GM CEO Roger Smith’s closing of auto plants in his hometown of Flint, MI, putting 30,000 people out of work.