Joy in the Struggle is social history at its best; a moving and inspiring account of one activist’s lifelong struggle for worker and civil rights. Beatrice Shapiro Lumpkin has spent the last eight decades on the frontlines of some of the most important battles for economic and social justice in the U.S., including the fight to secure union rights and Social Security in the 1930s, the movement to end Jim Crow segregation and racism in the 1950s and 1960s, the fight against U.S. imperialism during the Cold War, and the more recent battle to secure affordable health care for Americans. Now, Bea is more committed than ever to the struggle to create a more just society. She attends rallies in Washington to protest the neoliberal-inspired proposal to privatize Social Security, joined Wisconsin public sector workers fighting to preserve the collective bargaining rights that she and other activists helped secure in the 1930s, and most recently could be found on the picket lines in support of Chicago public school teachers. An examination of Bea’s more than eighty-year journey deepens our understanding of the great labor and civil rights struggles of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and demonstrates how one person can help shape the course of history. Academics and activists alike will learn much from reading about the extraordinary life and times of Beatrice Lumpkin.
“A must-read inspirational account of a woman who dares…a story that shines a light on all that is good; a life worth emulating to advance our struggle for a better world.” Ed Sadlowski, labor organizer.