Union organizer and balladeer Ella May became a martyr for workers nationwide when she was murdered on her way to a union meeting in Gastonia, North Carolina, at age 28. A mother of nine and bookkeeper for the communist-led National Textile Workers Union, May worked to organize fellow mill workers in Gaston County. Her efforts to organize black workers--along with her brash, outspoken manner--incensed the local community and she was shot by an anti-union vigilante group on September 14, 1929. Written by her great-granddaughter, this book tells Ella May's story, including her involvement in the Loray Mill Strike, the largest communist-led strike on American soil. Her most famous ballad, Mill Mother's Lament, reveals her motivation: It is for our little children.
Martyr of Loray Mill
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Ella May and the 1929 Textile Workers' Strike in Gastonia, North Carolina