In the summer of 2014, activists in Ferguson, Missouri helped catalyze a cycle of struggle against racist policing, extractive fines and fees, and myriad other injustices that are rooted in racial capitalism and the state. Decades before this in nearby St. Louis Black women activists propelled another vibrant movement for justice and equity.
On today’s show, however, we speak with Keona Ervin about St Louis’s actually existing working class and the role of Black women activists played in shaping the struggle for economic dignity in the city.
Keona K. Ervin is assistant professor of History at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She received her PhD in History from Washington University in St. Louis in 2009. Professor Ervin’s main research and teaching areas are black freedom movement studies, urban history, black women’s history, and US labor and working-class history. She is the author of the forthcoming Gateway to Equality: Black Women and the Struggle for Economic Justice in St. Louis (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky).