While we’re thanking unions for our present working conditions and rights on Labor Day let’s also think about the savagely stolen labor that fueled prosperity, privilege, and position in America.

Let’s think about how slavery, peonage, sharecropping, and convict leasing gave some Americans wealth and advantage to pass down that is now passed off as hard work and merit.

Let’s think about mass incarceration and the predominantly black and Latino prison labor we exploit.

Let’s think about past and present-labor market discrimination– how Lakisha and Jamal get fewer job call-backs than Emily and Greg and how black women get 63 cents for every dollar white men are paid.

Let’s think about the glass ceilings that turns into the “ever-changing game” (credit Randal Pinkett) when it’s time to promote people of color.

Let’s think about the stolen intellectual labor, the microaggressions, the invisible labor and the related psychological weight that is carried by people of color in the workforce.

After all of that, let’s remember the black/white wealth gap is widening in America and how so many are content with this reality.

Ok…back to the fireworks and barbecues! Happy Labor Day!


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