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In 1903, when Japanese and Mexican immigrant workers wanted to unionize in California, the American Federation of Labor denied them a union charter, refusing to work with non-whites. The Industrial Workers of the World, on the other hand, embraced workers of all colors, as long as they were a little red. At less than $4 an hour, some Mexican workers in Brooklyn today earn little more than they would have in 1903and these workers are again turning to the IWW.
Aboard the tugboats churning through New York harbor are workers who push and pull with their hands and their lives. Their mission is expediency. Their goal is to get home safe to the families and dry clothes they left on land.
My mother loved pears, the shape of them. When my parents moved into an apartment, she seized the opportunity to ditch the Danish modern table we’d grown up around, and drew a big pear. She hunted down a beautiful slab of dark marble embedded with oyster shells, and had it cut into the shape of the pear.
As the queer community continues its crusade towards greater visibility and enjoys the benefits of mainstream representation, there remains a vulnerable sub-group that has yet to enjoy these fruits of progress, and instead grows at an alarming rate: homeless queer youth.
Nasreen Alkhateeb, an Iraqi-American filmmaker, sculptor, photographer and painter, describes herself as a constant outsider.
The news came with a knock on the door just before 6 a.m. One of Max Abelsons neighbors was out in the hall. Had he heard? It was all over the news. Starrett City was on the block.
Step out onto Brooklyn’s streets this month and you won’t miss the outpouring of mothers and their charges returning to sidewalks and playgrounds from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade to Dyker Beach Park. Watching this springtime resurgence, it’s easy to forget that mothering today is as politically charged as ever.