Artists' Television Access

Left Eye Cinema: Finally Got the News

Friday, April 5, 2019, 7:30 pm


Join the San Francisco Democratic Socialists of America and Left Lens for Finally Got the News,  a documentary look at radical black unionism in Detroit and the rise of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers. 

Beaten down under increased demands from the bosses but emboldened by the growing unrest in politics and society, autoworkers in the late 60s were beginning to rebel through work slowdowns and wildcat actions. But while this new militancy cut across racial lines, capital’s response did not. Punishment fell overwhelmingly on black workers, and the all-white leadership of the United Auto Workers did little to stop it. Against that backdrop, a group of black Marxists at the Dodge automotive plant formed what would eventually become the League of Revolutionary Black Workers. Professing an explicitly anti-capitalist revolutionary creed, the members LRBW fought for economic and racial justice, against the auto industry, and against their own union.

Finally Got the News is a portrait of these workers and their struggle. Using montage, footage from labor actions, and the words of the LRBW members themselves, the film explores the unique (and uniquely exploited) role of black labor in building American industry, and the ways this racist legacy complicates facile narratives of working class solidarity. This story of racism, bureaucratic betrayal, and militant unionism still has important lessons for the leftists and union members today. We’ll conclude the film with a discussion with special guests from the local labor movement. 

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