"Are My Hands Clean?"
The song, "Are My Hands Clean?", written by Bernice Johnson Reagon, is excerpted as a quotation to introduce this session. Reagon performed the song at Carnegie Hall in 1987 with her a capella group, Sweet Honey in the Rock.
The story, "Beautiful Hands," by Barb Pitman, appears in uu&me! Collected Stories, edited by Betsy Hill Williams (Boston: Skinner House, 2003). The book offers 26 stories culled from uu&me!, a children's magazine published by the Church of the Larger Fellowship.
The Worst Jobs in
A July 30, 2007, Time magazine article details some of the health hazards of supermarket workers, nail salon technicians, and others who work for minimum wage.
Child Labor and Protests, Then and Now
The photographs Lewis Hine took at the start of the 20th century remain the definitive documentation of industrial age and rural child labor in the U.S. During the Depression, Dorothea Lange photographed children at work as part of a federal project documenting poverty.
Children have sometimes joined the fight to end exploitative child labor practices. The Library of Congress has images of children engaged in protest, including one from a 1909 labor march.
A book for older grade-school children is Kids on Strike! by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999), illustrated with photographs, including some by Lewis Hine. According to the Barnes & Noble web site, the book presents:
... children who stood up for their rights against powerful company owners, from a "turn-out" in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1836 led by eleven-year-old Harriet Hanson to the dramatic strike of 1912 in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
The New Deal Network, an online resource, offers a 1933 account from The Nation magazine of male, female, and child workers' plight and effective labor strikes—including "baby strikers (children)"—in Pennsylvania .
Internationally, child labor remains a significant problem.
A 2004 documentary about child labor and slavery, Stolen Childhoods, has a web site with comprehensive links to anti-child labor organizations, a resource for exploring how to help as a donor, an advocate, a fair trade/child labor-free consumer, or a teacher or youth leader who can get children involved.