Michael Honey’s social movement histories mirror his own social justice commitments  as a former civil liberties and civil rights organizer in the South and life-long peace, labor and racial justice activist. His work interweaves songs, photos, film, and oral history into his historical research. Honey has won numerous book awards and written scores of academic chapters, articles, opinion pieces, book reviews, songs, and conference papers, and has received Guggenheim, Rockefeller foundation and numerous humanities center research fellowships for his work. For details, explore this page. Here is a brief summary:

Southern Labor and Black Civil Rights: Organizing Memphis Workers (University of Illinois Press, 1993) opened up a hidden history of interracial southern labor organizing of the 1930s and 1940s that helped set the stage for the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Black Workers Remember: An Oral History of Segregation, Unionism, and the Freedom Struggle (University of California Press, 1999) tells the story through the words of black workers in Memphis. Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Sanitation Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign (WW Norton, 2007) provides the definitive account of King’s last campaign. In All Labor Has Dignity (Beacon, 2011), Honey collects and edits King’s labor speeches. Sharecropper's Troubadour: John L. Handcox, the Southern Tenant Farmers Union, and the African American Song Tradition (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), tells labor and civil rights history through oral narrative, historical research, and song.

“Love and Solidarity: James M. Lawson and Nonviolence in the Search for Workers’ Rights,” Honey’s video with Bullfrog Films, carries the story into immigrant rights and labor organizing from 1968 Memphis to Los Angeles in the present. Honey’s current book, To the Promised Land: Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice (Norton: 2018), traces King’s labor and economic justice struggles throughout his life and raises questions about the economic dimensions of racism. Going Down Jericho Road has been optioned as a major motion picture.

(Palgrave MacMillan Oral History series, 2013) “An arresting account of the exemplary life of an American genius... a unique combination of oral history and scholarly research that reminds us of the centrality of music, and of poetry, to US freedom movements” - David Roediger / “Essential reading to understand the history of labor and black music in the rural south” - William Ferris

(Boston: Beacon Press, 2011) “Shows us the way of transformation...into an active united citizenry” - Nell Irvin Painter / “Not just a testament to King’s rhetorical legacy - It is a call to action” -  Richard Trumka

(New York: W.W. Norton, 2007) “I loved, and was inspired by, this deeply human portrait of King.” - Alice Kessler-Harris / “The definitive appreciation... of one of the pivotal human rights movements in America” - David Levering Lewis / “One of the best books about organizing I have ever read” - Stuart Acuff / Winner, Robert F. Kennedy, Liberty Legacy, H.L. Mitchell, University Association of Labor Educators, and international Labor Research Association book awards.

(Berkeley: University of California press, 1999) “Reminds us of the often painful sacrifices and surpassing achievements of black industrial workers as they transformed their workplaces and their lives” - Clayborne Carson / “A powerful, moving tribute to the multi-generational struggle for African American freedom” - Nelson Lichtenstein / “A rich and vivid work” - Charles Payne / Winner, Lillian Smith, Murray Morgan, and H.L. Mitchell book awards.

(Urbana: U. Of Illinois Press, 1993) “Pacs the emotive power of a zillion ‘race’ Memoirs precisely because it is the story of what happened when black and white workers collectively challenged the powers-that-be in the meanest city in the south” - Robin D.G. Kelley / winner, Charles Sydnor, James A. rawley, and Herbert Gutman book awards.