“Salt of the Earth”

March 14, 1954, was the release date of the classic movie, “Salt of the Earth”.  The movie was based on the long, difficult strike in 1951 against the Empire Zinc Company in New Mexico.  The actual miners and their families starred in the film.  The producers, director, and the movie were blacklisted during the 1950’s McCarthy anti-communist campaign.  The movie begins with the words of the Latina heroine: “How shall I begin my story that has no beginning? My name is Esperanza, Esperanza Quintero. I am a miner’s wife. This is our home. The house is not ours. But the flowers… the flowers are ours. This is my village. When I was a child, it was called San Marcos. The Anglos changed the name to Zinc Town. Zinc Town, New Mexico, U.S.A. Our roots go deep in this place, deeper than the pines, deeper than the mine shaft…”  (Photo from movie.)