Workers Unite Film Festival 2022

Struggles in Steel: A History of African-American Steelworkers

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This documentary focuses on the Civil Rights Movement in the heavily segregated steel industry and its equally segregated union, The United Steelworkers of America (USWA), at the time when this industry—devastated by mismanagement and global competition—began to crumble. It is a powerful picture of black working-class life in the latter part of the 20th century, told in a combination of interviews and documentary footage. Through live testimonials and revelatory archival materials, Struggles shows the contributions of African Americans to the steel industry and to the labor movement more generally. (via

"An outstanding job! ... Provides a vitally important historical foundation for the current debates about race and affirmative action." - Bruce Nelson, Dartmouth College

"Heartbreaking and enlightening ... A shameful story full of sound and fury." - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Intelligent and informative ...The filmmakers cull revealing and often deeply moving commentaries from interviews with more than 70 steelworkers...An effective teaching tool." - Variety

Co-sponsored by DC Labor Film Fest and the Global Labor Film Festival network (GLFF).

  • Year
  • Runtime
    57 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Tony Buba, Raymond Henderson
  • Producer
    Tony Buba, Raymond Henderson
  • Cast
    Raymond Henderson, Dennis C. Dickerson, Kristen Kress