Aunt Molly Jackson poster
by Pete Yahnke
"Tell me, fellow workers, how can this be? A home of the brave and the land of the free. Starvation and misery is all that is free for poor hard-working masses like you and like me." For 47 years, from the age of 5 until her exile from the mine country in 1931, she was the life and spirit of the Kentucky miners, not only as a nurse and midwife, but as a union organizer. These 47 years saw a great many troubles, tragedies, struggles, and victories, all of which she chronicled in song, so that the other miners and miners' wives would neither forgive nor forget.
In the black days of the Kentucky miners during the first years of the Depression, Aunt Molly carried on a bitter struggle against the operators undaunted by the sight of her fellow organizers being shot down in cold blood. "I have often wondered why they have not killed me - they have beat me and tear-gassed me and had me thrown in jail. Ah yes, they tried to get rid of me but somehow they failed."
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