Book Talk – Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area
Prof. Peter Cole (Western Illinois University)
5:15pm, 15 May
Thomas Paine Study Centre, 2.03. University of East Anglia.
Dockworkers have power. Often missed in commentary on today’s globalizing economy, workers in the world’s ports can harness their role, at a strategic choke point, to promote their labor rights and social justice causes. Peter Cole brings such overlooked experiences to light in an eye-opening comparative study of Durban, South Africa, and the San Francisco Bay Area, California. His path breaking research reveals how unions affected lasting change in some of the most far-reaching struggles of modern times. First, dockworkers in each city drew on longstanding radical traditions to promote racial equality. Second, they persevered when a new technology—container ships—sent a shockwave of layoffs through the industry. Finally, their commitment to black internationalism and leftist politics sparked transnational work stoppages to protest apartheid and authoritarianism.
Co-sponsored by the UEA Department of American Studies and the Evolution of Struggle: Legacies of the Anti-Apartheid Movement.
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