Labor History

The Wide Awakes and the Antebellum Roots of Wokeness

Wide Awakes picket sign that Reads “Wide Awakes,” with an eye between the two words, and the date, 1860, below it. Public domain.

On October 3, 1860, 10,000 men and boys marched in a three-mile procession through Chicago. Many were immigrants from Europe, veterans of the Revolutions of 1848. They wore capes and military-style hats, and carried six-foot long torches. Some marched with guns. Others held signs with the image of a large eyeball. They were the Wide […]

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Louise Michel

Louise Michel c1880. By J.M. Lopez - Unknown source, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10186336

Louise Michel was born in Vroncourt, France on May 29, 1830. Michel was a leader of the 1871 Paris Commune and a founder of anarcha-feminism. As a child, she always empathized with the downtrodden and, particularly, with animals. Indeed, she attributed the origin of her revolt to her horror at seeing animals abused. “I used

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