New Working History Episode Focuses on the Life Work of Rev. James Lawson
SLSA’s latest Working History podcast, “A Lifetime of Building Solidarity,” is available for listening on iTunes and SoundCloud. In the episode, Professor Michael Honey of the University of Washington, Tacoma, discusses the documentary that he directed and co-produced, “Love and Solidarity: The Story of Rev. James Lawson,” and Lawson’s work of building solidarity and movements for social justice from the Civil Rights Era to today. The episode is hosted by Beth English, president of SLSA.
Michael Honey is an educator who combines scholarship with civic engagement. He teaches African-American, civil rights and labor history and specializes in work on Martin Luther King, Jr. Honey holds the Fred T. and Dorothy G. Haley Endowed Professorship in the Humanities at the University of Washington, Tacoma (UWT) and previously served as the Harry Bridges Chair of Labor Studies for the University of Washington and as President of the Labor and Working-Class History Association.
Honey’s work is noted for his extensive use of oral history, deep archival research, and vibrant writing style. His book Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King’s Last Campaign won awards from the Robert F. Kennedy Book Foundation, the Organization of American Historians, the Southern Historical Association, and the United Association of Labor Educators. Honey won the University of Washington, Tacoma’s Distinguished Research award and the Weyerhaueser Foundation’s Martin Luther King Award for community leadership and service. He is author or editor of numerous books including, Sharecropper’s Troubadour: John L. Handcox, the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union, and the African American Song Tradition and All Labor Has Dignity, Black Workers Remember: An Oral History of Unionism, Segregation and the Freedom Struggle and Southern Labor and Black Civil Rights: Organizing Memphis Workers.
A southern civil rights and civil liberties organizer from 1970-1976, Honey links scholarship, music, and public speaking with community and labor organizing. He performed his “Links on the Chain” labor and civil rights songs with Pete Seeger, Bettie Mae Fikes and other freedom singers and he has given invited lectures before numerous campus and community organizations (the University of Florida, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Louisville, Northwestern and Seattle Universities, the University of Illinois, Northern Illinois University, the National Labor College, and the AFL-CIO among others). Honey has received numerous research grants and fellowships from scholarly organizations. These include the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Research and Conference Center, the Huntington Library, and the Stanford Humanities Center. He has published many scholarly articles in books and journals as well as columns on current issues in mass media. Honey is a graduate of Northern Illinois University (Ph.D.), Howard University (M.A.) and Oakland University (B.A.). He lives in Tacoma with his wife Pat Krueger, a professor of music education at the University of Puget Sound.