Lucy Parsons (1853-1942)
Claiming to be the daughter of a Mexican woman and a Creek Indian, and raised on a ranch in Texas (though later research showed that she may have been a slave in Texas), Lucy Parsons married Albert Parsons, a former Confederate soldier turned radical Republican around 1871. The Marriage forced the couple to flee to Chicago in 1873 and became heavily involved in the revolutionary elements of the labor movement. Parsons wrote articles about the homeless and unemplpyed for The Socialist in 1878, and later helped found the International Working People's Association (IWPA). She also became a requent contributor to the IPWA weekly paper The Alarm in 1884. Parsons was also a staunch advocate of the rights of African Americans, stating that that blacks where only victimized because they were poor, and that racism would inevitably disappear with the destruction of capitalism. In 1886, Lucy's husband was implicated in the Haymarket Square bombing of a crowd of police and sentenced to death by hanging. After her husband's death, Parsons continued revolutionary activism, publishing a short-lived publication, Freedom, in 1892. In 1905 she participated in the founding of the Industrial Workers of the World, and also published a paper called The Liberator. After working with the Communist Party for a number of years, she finally joined in 1939, despairing of the advance of both capitalism and fascism on the world stage and unconvinced of the anarchists' ability to effectively confront them. Parsons died in a fire in her Chicago home in 1942.
(Excripted from Free Society, vol. 2, no. 4, 1995, article by Joe Lowndes)