Saturday, June 3 | 3:00 PM at the Center for Marxist Education, 550 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge MA
Presented by Joe Bernick, Director of the Salt of the Earth Labor College
Salt of the Earth is a classic labor film, depicting the bitter 1950 strike by mostly-Chicano and Mexicano miners in New Mexico that challenged racist discrimination in the industry and male supremacy in the home. When an injunction was issued against the striking miners, their wives and sisters took up the struggle with a fury, leaving the men to care for home and children. It was banned and barely shown in commercial theaters in the US. But tens if not hundreds of millions viewed it in the Soviet Union, China and other civilized states. Salt of the Earth is often shown to students in Mexican American and Women's Studies courses. The Library of Congress now includes it on their list of the 100 greatest US films. (Watch the trailer.)
The film will be introduced by Joe Bernick, the long-time director of the Salt of the Earth Labor College. Born in Minnesota, Joe spent most of his childhood in the recently-occupied Palestine, returning to Minnesota in the early 1960s to finish high school. He became active in the civil rights, peace and Palestine justice movement, and worked in Minneapolis factories, where he was active in the Iron Workers and Teamsters unions. He and his wife, Cat Stelman, moved to Tucson in 1980. He worked for a decade as a school custodian, was Vice President of his AFT local, and remains active in Jobs with Justice. He was mentored by the great Communist leaders, Lorenzo and Anita Torrez, veterans of the strike depicted in the film, and helped found the Salt of the Earth Labor College in Tucson in 1993.