The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #4018 Message #278177
Posted By: Jacob B
15-Aug-00 - 11:24 AM
Thread Name: Origins: John Henry
Subject: RE: The origins of john Henry
I suspect that, at the time it was written, John Henry was not considered "a song against the mechanization of industry." John Henry would not have minded giving up his job swinging a hammer for a better-paying job operating a steam drill - but there wasn't the faintest possibility that he would get that job. By trying to prove to his boss that he could do a better job than the machine that the steam drill salesman was selling, John Henry was trying to prevent an entire community of black men from losing their jobs to a few white men, operating machines.