Sunday, July 12, 2020


Article Index

Mississippi’s First Labor Union (1866)

In June 1866, a group of newly freed black women working as laundresses in Jackson, Miss., formed the state’s first labor union, the Washerwomen of Jackson. Together, the women sent a resolution to then-Mayor D.N. Barrows that demanded a “uniform rate for our labor.” The bold action inspired other freedmen to write their own resolutions petitioning for fair wages, all in a climate where white planters and politicians were trying to re-enslave them through notorious “Black Codes” legislation.   (Article)


Vernellia R. Randall
Founder and Editor
Professor Emerita of Law
The University of Dayton School of Law