Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

The Violent and Activist Struggle for Rights for Hosiery Workers

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

The Violent and Activist Struggle for Rights for Hosiery Workers

Article excerpt

The Violent and Activist Struggle for Rights for Hosiery Workers Sharon McConnell-Sidorick. Silk Stockings and Socialism: Philadelphia's Radical Hosiery Workers from the Jazz Age to the New Deal. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, April 17, 2017. ISBN: 978-14696-3295-7. $29.95. 324pp. 6.125X9.25". 9 illustrations.

An examination of the labor movements resurgence in hosiery mills in Kensington, a working-class part of Philadelphia. These mills were successful because they were selling silk stockings that were popular during the 1920s Jazz Age, but their makers were thinking about workers' rights, rather than about dancing or drinking. The agency at the heart of this movement was the American Federation of Full-Fashioned Hosiery Workers (AFFFHW), which orchestrated picket lines and sitdown strikes. This is used as an example of how grassroots social movements are the leading tools of change in American society and culture.

The cover used a Soviet-style propaganda poster style. An abstract woman is leaping from the factory into the sea across a rising or setting sun image, holding a stocking high above her head, like a flag.

The story is chronological, and takes these activists all the way from their start in the 20s to their struggles in the Great Depression and beyond. …

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