Union Culture Gets a Boost

Savannah GrantJobs with Justice and UAW 848 presented a Union Song Revival on Sunday, July 24. An even dozen people worked to make sure we had good food, good music, intelligent education, and a darned good time! Singer Savannah Grant, daughter of Kym Grant of the Doctor's Guild, pictured, sang her own composition. In fact, a number of the presentations were completely original and never presented before.

Check out the four short videos starting at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OKWDaX1x7Q&feature=related





Kenny Winfree



Kenny Winfree, a member of UAW 848 and a union singer of considerable renown, cooked up the program after attending the Great Labor Arts Exchange at AFL-CIO national headquarters. Union songs and art are being presented more and more at similar events across the country. They had one in Oklahoma City in 2010. Could Texas do less? Winfree sang his signature song "I'm a Union Card," and several other personal versions of labor classics.









Dean RecklawDean Recklaw of Arlington brought two of his original songs, "Unemployment" and "Mister Boener, Where are the Jobs?". The second title is particularly appropriate because the MoveOn nationwide activist group has called for actions across the country on August 8th with the theme "Where are the Jobs."

Check it out, and help us promote it, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TT0SUZVBtM








Ed MiddletonReverend Ed Middleton of First Community Church in Dallas gave a short talk about connections between church and workers.










Johnnie DurhamJohnnie Durham, Civil Rights Chairperson at UAW 848, sang Dr Martin Luther King Jr's favorite hymn, "Precious Lord," which drove home the ties between the union movement and the great civil rights leader










Anthony EsparzaThe crowd of 50 or so was thrilled by the voice of Anthony Esparza as he sant the great United Farm Worker Song "De Colores!"









Lisa MarkleyProfessional Dallas singer Lisa Markley rendered beautiful songs such as "I Ought to Know" and the most famous song reflecting women in the union movement, "Bread and Roses" from the 1910 Lawrence, Massachusetts, textile strike.

Herb Keenum delivered some of the new hymns written by Dr Jann Aldredge-Clanton, and Gene Lantz helped out by leading singalongs of "Which Side are You On" and our final set, "Solidarity Forever!" Lance Keller brought an unpublished version of "Stealing a Break on Coming Time!" Gerardo Contreras did the cooking, while Kym Grant and John Jarzabski helped with food. Money was raised for sending four activists to the National Jobs with Justice convention August 5-7 in Washington DC.

Everyone agreed that this effort of union consciousness raising was a success and a good basis for an annual event.