Alana Arenas, a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble, reads from Sylvia Woods' recollection of her childhood in Louisiana at the start of the twentieth century. This performance was part of "The People Speak, Live!" at the Metro in Chicago, on January 31, 2012, produced by Voices of a People's History (peopleshistory.us) in collaboration with Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival.
Sylvia Woods was a pioneer in the struggle of African-American and women trade unionists, although her story is not told in most school textbooks. Here, she relates how she first started speaking out against racism—as a 10-year-old girl in grade school in Louisiana during the early 1900s. She told her story to Alice and Staughton Lynd, the labor historians and activists, in the 1970s.
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