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Riot and Reclamation: Black Women, Prison Labor, and Resistive Desires

Riot and Reclamation: Black Women, Prison Labor, and Resistive Desires <p>Abstract:</p><p>This article analyzes an interracial women&apos;s strike at Wetumpka State Penitentiary in Alabama in 1934. By centering the prison, it challenges southern Black women&apos;s long understood absence from factories and their labor movements. As a site of coerced and unpaid labor, the prison represented one of the many places where Black women worked that was unprotected by nascent pro-labor national legislation. And by analyzing Black women&apos;s history of industrial labor resistance at Wetumpka, this article calls attention to how incarcerated Black women&apos;s labor struggles diverged from but remained an important part of the state&apos;s galvanized labor movement. Rather than searching for a similitude of "free world" labor movements, it argues that incarcerated Black women&apos;s oppositional politics looked different, because they stemmed from fundamentally different positionalities. Indeed, their refusal to ally with the state, along withthe relationships that theyformed inside, catalyzedaqueer labor politic.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

Riot and Reclamation: Black Women, Prison Labor, and Resistive Desires

Southern Cultures , Volume 27 (3) – Nov 6, 2021

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Center for the Study of the American South
ISSN
1534-1488

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>This article analyzes an interracial women&apos;s strike at Wetumpka State Penitentiary in Alabama in 1934. By centering the prison, it challenges southern Black women&apos;s long understood absence from factories and their labor movements. As a site of coerced and unpaid labor, the prison represented one of the many places where Black women worked that was unprotected by nascent pro-labor national legislation. And by analyzing Black women&apos;s history of industrial labor resistance at Wetumpka, this article calls attention to how incarcerated Black women&apos;s labor struggles diverged from but remained an important part of the state&apos;s galvanized labor movement. Rather than searching for a similitude of "free world" labor movements, it argues that incarcerated Black women&apos;s oppositional politics looked different, because they stemmed from fundamentally different positionalities. Indeed, their refusal to ally with the state, along withthe relationships that theyformed inside, catalyzedaqueer labor politic.</p>

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 6, 2021

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