‘Bread and Roses’ has been a phrase in the labour movement since it was included as the title of James Oppenheim’s poem in the United States in December 1911 based on a phrase in a speech by Rosa Scheiderman, the Polish born American union, socialist and feminist activist. It was adopted for the name of the Lawrence Textile strike as ‘The Bread and Roses Strike’ the next year, and later became a song. It symbolises that souls need feeding as well as bodies.
A lot of debate in Croydon in the last three years has been about the need for it to develop ‘a soul’. Daniel Labonne, who ran the Borough based Samuel-Coleridge-Taylor Society in the 1990s reflects on that experience in the May newsletter of the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Network: https://sites.google.com/site/samuelcoleridgetaylornetwork
The Croydon Heritage and Ambition Festivals this summer will hopefully provide food for the soul. ‘Croydon Till I Die’, a series of summer events celebrating the suburbs looks as if it will help:
28 May. Rough Trade East, 91 Brick Lane (http://www.roughtrade.com) – with John Grindrod, Andy Miller and Bob Stanley
11 June – Fairfield Halls (Arnhem Gallery), Croydon (https://www.fairfield.co.uk) – with John Grindrod, Andy Miller and Bob Stanley