With Babies and Banners and Men's Lives
With Babies And Banners
With Babies And Banners is a remarkable, award-winning documentary on the Women's Emergency Brigade - the story of the women, the wives, mothers, sisters, and sweethearts of strikers, who became the backbone of the Great General Motors Sitdown Strike in Flint, Michigan in 1937, the strike which was the key to the success of the C.I.O.'s national drive for industrial unionism.
In 1937, more than 170,000 workers sat down on their jobs, causing the Detroit News to comment: “Sitting down has replaced baseball as a national pastime.” With Babies And Banners deals specifically with the role of women in the most important of the big sitdowns, that at GM's Fisher Body plant in Flint, which lasted 44 days. Knowledge of the signficant role played by women during that strike was all but lost until four years ago when the Women's Labor History Film Project, directed by Lorraine Gray, rediscovered the Women's Emergency Brigade. At that time, they set out to locate women who had been active in the militant action. The result is a documentation of the historic event, as well as an intimate and exciting look at the lives of the women and the successful collective action which resulted from the risks they took. The film combines oral interviews with nine women of the Emergency Brigade with rare documentary footage never before seen.