Harlan County, USA Relation to Music

Harlan County,USA focus on the “Brookside Strike” in the 1970s . It follows the struggles of mine workers and their families who when on strikes after their employees, the Eastover Coal Company’s Brookside Mine and Prep Plant in Harlan County, refused to give them safer and fair working condition and higher wages. The strike which almost  lasted a year,  went from a peaceful demonstration to violent cause by Eastover Coal Company who hired thugs to intimidate strikes with their guns . In one of those violent demonstration,a man named Lawrence Jones who was loved by the community is shot and killed. The tragedy lead to negotiation between UMWA and  Duke Power Company for a new contract and the end of the strike.

Music was an important part the strike in Harlan County in 1972. During strikes and mettings, the mine workers and families used music as a sign of hope. Other musicians wrote songs about the what was going on at the time and dangers of working in a coal mine to spread awareness. Like the mine workers in Harlan county, Bronx residents the the 1970s felt hopeless and use music to talk about the situations they were in.