0 0
Read Time:2 Minute, 27 Second

Bread for all, and Roses too! This slogan dates back to the 1910’s from Women’s Suffrage Movement activist Helen Todd. This phrase was not only used in reference to Women’s Suffrage, but rather it continued to be used during what is now referred to as the “Bread and Roses Strike.” The Bread and Roses Strike worked towards protesting for fair wages and dignified working conditions, as the working conditions in textile factories were often harsh, dangerous, and for little pay. While the original origin of Helen’s slogan is unknown, the meaning has been explained and inferred by different people in several ways throughout the years including comparing it to the well-known slogan “taxation without representation.”

Rose Schneiderman, 1912, explained it well stating, “What the woman who labors wants is the right to live, not simply exist – the right to life as the rich woman has the right to life, and the sun and music and art. You have nothing that the humblest worker has not a right to have also. The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too. Help, you women of privilege, give her the ballot to fight with.”

Lydia’s House has taken this theme from these powerful women activists and are in the process of painting a mural on our 1801 Mills Ave affordable housing building.

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth Hatchett generously volunteered her time to design this mural as a gift to the West Norwood neighborhood. We hired Laura Yrigoyen, a longtime friend to our community and Atrium volunteer, to implement the artwork. With the help of kids in the Lydia’s House community, staff, and other friendly neighborhood faces, rose by rose, leaf by leaf, the mural is coming to life.

Bread and Roses by James Oppenheim, 1911

As we come marching, marching, in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill-lofts gray
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing, “Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses.”

As we come marching, marching, we battle, too, for men—
For they are women’s children and we mother them again.
Our days shall not be sweated from birth until life closes—
Hearts starve as well as bodies: Give us Bread, but give us Roses.

As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient song of Bread;
Small art and love and beauty their trudging spirits knew—
Yes, it is Bread we fight for—but we fight for Roses, too.

As we come marching, marching, we bring the Greater Days—
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler—ten that toil where one reposes—
But a sharing of life’s glories: Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses.

 

Our mural is set to be finished in the next few weeks. Be sure to drive by and check it out!

Happy
Happy
50 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
50 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %