No one thought it would come to this. It was 1887, and slavery was SUPPOSED to be over! But here they still were - Black workers living in poverty and suffering. What could be done?
The union leader had argued that their lives were nearly the same as before emancipation. Wages were still low. Conditions were still dangerous. They still had no land to own or even rent.
They had to demand fair wages, or strike. But would it work?
No. Black workers were fired, and so they went on strike for three weeks, kicking off the largest strike in farmworker history.
Even worse? White vigilantes decided to teach the Black workers a lesson. They went door to door, searching for Black strikers. But they found something else instead.
We were willing to fight back! When we didn’t meekly submit to their intimidation, the white terrorists lost their minds.
They started shooting any Black person, on sight. The racist governor of Louisiana even sent the all-white state militia to slaughter our people.
The result was at least 60 Black people killed in Thibodaux, LA, and the end of the strike. But there was something more - our people had made a powerful statement about equality that inspired labor strikes decades later.
Regardless of the opposition, we should NEVER stop fighting for our liberation and our rights.