As a candidate for the country’s second highest office under the Progressive Party ticket in 1952, she addressed congressional attendees on March 30 of that year.
“Bass certainly paved the way for today̵7;s Kamals in terms of its identity and its coalition-building policy,” said Keisha N. Blain, associate professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh and author of “Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global War for Freedom.
“But it is just as important to talk about the countless black women whose work has formed the backbone of the Democratic Party.”
Bass made history before running for VP
Her fight against injustice began decades before her political offer. She used her newspaper as a platform to highlight issues such as police brutality, restrictive housing, the Ku Klax Klan and civil liberties.
When Bass’s husband died in 1934, she stepped up her activism by joining groups fighting against injustice. She also founded the National Sojourner for the Truth and Justice Club, which worked to improve working conditions for Black women.
“Throughout her career, Bass has evolved and collaborated with various political groups, capturing the richness and complexity of Black politics,” Blain said.
She served as chair of a chapter of the Universal Association for the Advancement of Creators, engaged with the more moderate NAACP, and was a leader among leftists and communists in the Sojourners for Truth and Justice, she added.
“Bass’ ability to move within radical and key circles – and her ability to draw an important picture from each – is an important lesson for Harris as she strives to form a successful political coalition with Biden,” he said. Blain.
While Bass was a key figure in politics, Blain said, equally important are Charlene Mitchell, Shirley Chisholm and countless other Black women who have worked – often behind the scenes – to make minorities in politics.
“Mitchell ran for president on the Communist Party ticket in 1968 and Chisholm campaigned in the 1977 Democratic presidential primary. These women paved the way for Harris and other Black women in presidential politics,” she said.
Hallinan received 140,000 votes.