Founded in 2000, Domestic Workers United [DWU] is an organization of Caribbean, Latina and African nannies, housekeepers, and elderly caregivers in New York, organizing for power, respect, fair labor standards and to help build a movement to end exploitation and oppression for all. DWU is a proud founding member of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. DWU and its partners brought their power to bear in 2010 when the nation's first Domestic Workers Bill of Rights was passed in New York.

May 13, 2008

My mother's hands: the Domestic Worker's Union

May 11, 2008 - 10:51am
By Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou

Dear God:

Like all children, I held my mother's hand as sign of assurance against a fall; a touch of loving; a way of being; the last time I saw her I was flying in from a rally of protest with a brief layover in her city. With the fervor of a prodigal son or better yet a prince returned, she made a fuss about me. (I am the baby you know.) We embraced; she sat me down and gave me that stern look and as always told me to be careful and not to make the president too mad. "Yes, ma'am", I obliged. We made chit chat about my siblings-some blue, all black.

And so were her hands. I rubbed them-tortured with calluses. Her knees ached and soul tired of scrubbing rich white folk floors. My mother is a "domestic" - like her mother and her mother before. I saw my mothers' hands again last night. Though not all black, they were blue. Reminding me from whence I came, they danced and sang calypso; testified before you, elected officials, and labor leaders.

I call on you now to protect them in the dark corners of their labor houses. May the children they serve hold their hands and feel their souls.

I talked to mother this morning and said it is OK to make the president really mad, for her. (Did I mention that I am the baby?)

Lillian's son,

Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou
p.s. please help the DWU pass the Domestic Worker's Bill of Rights

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