Sherry Linkon

Sherry Linkon is a professor of English at Georgetown University and a faculty affiliate of the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. Her book The Half-Life of Deindustrialization: Working-Class Writing About Economic Restructuring was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2018. She is the editor of Working-Class Perspectives.

Recent Articles

Why the Dems Need to Talk About Economics AND Racism

A little intersectionality would go a long way.

In their response to President Trump’s racist tweets telling them to “go back to where they came from,” the four female congressional representatives dubbed “The Squad” tried to shift the debate. Instead of battling over whether the tweets and the subsequent “Send Them Back” chant count as racist, and instead of yet another round of media amazement at the president’s bad behavior, the Squad called for renewed attention to policies aimed at addressing inequality. Too many of their Democratic colleagues, however, including most of those running for president, took Trump’s bait, condemning the president and defending the Squad’s honor as citizens and women of color. They’d have done better if they had taken up the Squad’s real cause: pursuing policies that address injustice as an intersectional challenge. The field of candidates for the Democratic nomination is almost twice the size of the senior seminar on working-...

'Detroit' and Charlottesville

Fifty years may separate the riots in the two cities, but the root causes and the remedies remain the same

(Shaban Athuman /Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
My husband and I recently saw Kathryn Bigelow’s film Detroit. Set amid the 1967 uprising 50 years ago this summer, the film focuses primarily on the brutal torture and murder of three black men by police officers that took place that week at the Algiers Motel. Because it so powerfully and intimately dramatizes the racial hatred and injustice that has defined far too much of this country’s history, the film offers a thought-provoking counterpoint to what happened in Charlottesville. In an era when police officers keep shooting young black men whom they see as threatening, and when jury after jury acquits those officers, no matter how clear the evidence that their victims posed no threat at all, Bigelow puts us inside a sustained and horrific example of police brutality and, true to history, refuses us the relief of a just verdict. To see this film after Charlottesville and President Trump’s disturbing insistence that the “alt-left” was as much to blame as...