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LABOR HISTORY TODAY: The 1938 Crisfield Crab Pickers Strike

Chris Garlock | Published on 5/12/2024

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Before last Friday, to know about the 1938 crab pickers strike in Crisfield, Maryland, you had to know about it. This is the story of so many worker struggles in this country; hard-fought fights that unlike other battles – the Civil War, for example – have virtually no monuments or plaques, no visitor centers. But now, on Crisfield Highway, Maryland Route 413, there’s an official state historical marker that commemorates the 1938 strike by 600 crab pickers, mostly Black women. On today’s show we bring you an audio postcard from the marker’s unveiling.
Next Saturday, there will be another unveiling, this one in Philadelphia, of a new mural celebrating Ben Fletcher, one of the most influential working-class unionists, revolutionaries, and organizers in all of U.S. history. We talk with historian Peter Cole, author of Ben Fletcher: The Life and Times of a Black Wobbly, whose work inspired the mural.

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