Belabored: Black Against Amazon, with Steven Pitts and Robin D.G. Kelley

Belabored: Black Against Amazon, with Steven Pitts and Robin D.G. Kelley

Steven Pitts and Robin D.G. Kelley discuss Amazon and the state of the Black working class.

[contentblock id=belabored-info-ck]

[contentblock id=belabored]

The workers at the Amazon facility in Bessemer didn’t succeed in winning a union when all the votes were counted, but nevertheless the story has drawn attention to the company’s labor practices and the struggles of the workers in its facilities. This week, while we waited for the count, we teamed up with Steven Pitts of Organizing Upgrade’s Black Work Talk podcast to talk about the state of the Black working class. We were joined by Robin D.G. Kelley, author of many books you should read about social movements and labor history, but perhaps most importantly for this conversation, one of my all-time favorites: Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression (the book is currently available to download for free at the publishers’ website). Kelley is also Distinguished Professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History at UCLA, and we invited him to discuss the historical and present conditions in Bessemer. 

We are now on Patreon! You can sign up to support us with a monthly contribution, at the level that best suits you.

If you’re interested in advertising on the show, please email And as always, if you have any questions, comments, or tips, email us at


Black Work Talk

Organizing Upgrade

The Alabama Town That Could Defeat Jeff Bezos (New Republic)

Documents Show Amazon is Aware Drives Pee in Bottles and Even Defecate en Route Despite Company Denial (Intercept)

The Amazon Union Vote Is Ending in Bessemer. Workers Are Already Preparing for the Next Fight. (New Republic)

Blowout in Bessemer: A Postmortem on the Amazon Campaign (The Nation)

Socialist thought provides us with an imaginative and moral horizon.

For insights and analysis from the longest-running democratic socialist magazine in the United States, sign up for our newsletter: