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Before Kamala Harris made history, there was Charlotta Bass



As a candidate for the nation’s second highest office by the Radical Party’s vote in 1952, she addressed the congress attendees on March 30 of that year.

“I stand before you with great pride,” she said. “This is a historic moment in American political life. History for myself, for my people, for all women. For the first time in the history of this country, a political party. chose a black woman for the second highest position in the country. “
For minimal chance of winning, her campaign slogan was “Whether we win or lose, we all win by raising the problem.” Her party lost to Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, but her campaign decades ago opened the door to today̵
7;s minority candidates, experts say.

“Bass certainly paved the way for today’s Kamalas, both in identity and in political construction,” said Keisha N. Blain, associate professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh and author of the book “Set the World on”. forging her coalition of Fire: Black National Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom. “

“But equally important is talking about the countless black women whose labor forms the backbone of the Democratic Party.”

Charlotta A. Bass was a candidate for the Radical Party to the vice presidency in 1952.

Bass made history before she ran for VP

Bass started making history long before she ran for office. Activist-turned politician born in South Carolina in 1874. She then moved to the West Bank, where she became one of the first African-American women to own and operate a newspaper – California Eagle.

Her fight against injustice had begun decades before her political bidding. She uses her newspaper as a platform to highlight issues like police brutality, limited housing, the Ku Klax Klan, and civil liberties.

She is a major advocate of civil liberties, women’s rights and immigration, she has received death threats. The FBI also monitored her after she was found to be communist, government records show.

When Bass’s husband died in 1934, she strengthened her activities by joining groups fighting injustices. She also founded the Sojourner Club for National Truth and Justice, which works to improve working conditions for Black women.

“Throughout his career, Bass has developed and worked with various political groups, capturing the richness and complexity of Black politics,” Blain said.

She served as a chapter chair of the Global Association for the Improvement of Blacks, joined the more moderate NAACP, and was a leader among leftists and communists in Truth Advocates and justice, she added.

“Bass’s ability to move around in more radical and orthodox circles – and the ability to draw insight from each other – is a key lesson for Harris as she strives to build,” Blain said. a successful political alliance with Biden “.

Blain said, while Bass was a pivotal figure in politics, equally important as Charlene Mitchell, Shirley Chisholm and countless other Black women who worked – often behind the scenes – to turn Political minorities become political trends.

Vincent Hallinan (left) Radical candidate for President, Charlotta Bass and Paul Robeson.

“Mitchell ran for president with the Communist Party ticket in 1968, and Chisholm ran for the Democratic presidential primary election in 1972. These women paved the way for Harris,” she said. and other black women in presidential politics.

The radical Party’s candidate for the presidency was Vincent Hallinan, a lawyer who ran for the post after bars after he was jailed for six months for contempt.
Denise Lynn, a history professor at Southern Indiana University, says the Radical Party opposes the United States serving as a global police force, especially in the former colonies where the majority of the people are not. White skin-man.
“The Radical Party ran … on a platform that was opposed to militarism, war and political competition with the Soviet Union for social justice, economic equality and peace. Bass was the tool to help. The Radical Party votes in California, “Lynn wrote in a piece published this year.

Hallinan got 140,000 votes.


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