Bread and Roses

From Academic Kids

Template:Anarchism The slogan "Bread and Roses" originated in the strike of women textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1912. The Lawrence textile strike was unprecedented in two ways: it was led primarily by women and it was the first important strike in the United States to bring together working people of 25 different nationalities in a struggle for better wages and working conditions.

During a protest march, some of the women carried a sign that said, "We Want Bread And Roses Too!" The slogan was generally picked up, and the Lawrence action became known as the Bread and Roses strike.

Bread and Roses is also the name of an anarchist band in the Boston area.

The poem "Bread and Roses"

A poem written at the time by James Oppenheim to commemorate the strike was set to music in 1976 by Mimi Fariña and has been recorded by various artists, including Judy Collins.

As we go marching, marching, in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: Bread and Roses! Bread and Roses!
As we go marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women's children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses.
As we go marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient call for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for, but we fight for roses too.
As we go marching, marching, we bring the greater days,
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life's glories: Bread and roses, bread and roses.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
hearts starve as well as bodies; bread and roses, bread and roses.

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