A Woman to Know: Charlotta Bass

We fight to live. We fight that all people shall live. — Charlotta

(Charlotte as a young journalist in 1910, via Wikimedia Commons)

In 1910, Charlotta Bass was a young journalist with ambition. She wanted to write and report on criminal justice, racial equality, women's suffrage and more — and she wanted to do it in her adopted city of Los Angeles, then a booming metropolis rife with social tension. She got a part-time reporting gig at The Eagle, a small L.A. paper, and within two years she was running the entire publication, which she renamed The California Eagle. Under her tenure as editor-in-chief, the newspaper dedicated entire issues to progressive politics, civil rights and social reform.

After multiple decades at the helm of The California Eagle, Charlotta left journalism in the 1940s and turned her attention to politics. She helped found the Progressive Party and became the first African-American woman on a presidential ticket, as vice presidential candidate in 1952. Her platform was pretty radical for the times — pro-pacifist, pro-woman and pro-socialism. She lost in a landslide, of course, but as Charlotta would tell you, that wasn't the point: as her campaign slogan decreed, "Win or lose, we win by raising the issues."

P.S. I'm giving away some of these beautiful Julie Gough postcards depicting famous women in history. Fill out this form here to be entered to win! P.P.S. You should follow Julie's Tumblr, Illustrated Women in History. I'm seriously obsessed with it.

Add to your reading list:

Read more:

*~Send your recommendations for women to know! Reply to this newsletter with your lady and she could be featured in an upcoming edition.~* You can browse the archive here.