1st Black Female Nominee for the Office of the Vice President of the United States of America

By Duchess Magazine

Even as we celebrate America Independence Day today, we will be looking at one of the black women that contributed greatly to America in the political sector.

We’ve got lots of black women that has/is contributed/contributing to America in various sectors. This is a call that colors shouldn’t be discriminated and we must stand together to achieve a certain goal.

The woman will be talking about is Charlotta Bass, the first black woman to run for vice president of the United States. She bid for the position in 1952 on the ticket of the left-wing Progressive Party, alongside presidential candidate and lawyer Vincent Hallinan.

She was born in Sumter, South Carolina, U.S. On 14 February 1874. She venture into politics after a long ride in journalism which began in her 20s working with local Rhode Island newspapers the Providence Watchman, the Eagle, etc. Her work was so esteemed to the extent that when the founder of the Eagle died, the paper was put in her hands.

She works alongside editor Joseph Bass (whom she later married). Bass circulated the paper which she renamed the California Eagle from 1912-1951, this she used to create awareness of racial discrimination and civil rights issues. Together, the couple spoke out against police brutality, segregation, and the Ku Klux Klan, which resulted in them facing several menacing threats from the white supremacist group.

Her decision to use her voice to speak out against injustices in society put her on the watch of the FBI, who placed her under surveillance claiming that she was a communist which she deny.

Bass was already making names for herself in politics before her nomination to run for the post of vice president of the United States of America.

She was the co-president of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in the 1920s and created the Home Protective Association, which fought against restrictive covenants that discouraged people of color from being able to purchase homes.

Upon her nomination as vice president for the Progressive Party in 1952, Bass said:

“I stand before you with great pride. This is a historic moment in American political life. Historic for myself, for my people, for all women. For the first time in the history of this nation, a political party has chosen a Negro woman for the second-highest office in the land. It is a great honor to be chosen as a pioneer. And a great responsibility. But I am strengthened by thousands on thousands of pioneers who stand by my side and look over my shoulder, those who have led the fight for freedom, those who led the fight for women’s rights, and those who have been on the front line fighting for peace and justice and equality everywhere. How they must rejoice in this great understanding which here joins the cause of peace and freedom.”

Though they never get to win the election she was applauded so greatly for giving black women hope which today has resulted in having the first black vice president of the United States of America.

Bass in her words said: “It has been a good life that I have had, through a very hard one, but I know the future will be even better, And as I think back I know that is the only kind of life”

“I am strengthened by thousands on thousands of pioneers who stand by my side and look over my shoulder.” Charlotta Bass

In 1966, Bass had a stroke and then retired to a Los Angeles nursing home. At age 91 the FBI still classified Charlotta Bass as a potential security threat.

While she retired, she conserved a library in her garage for the young people in her neighborhood. Her long fight continued to give all people opportunities and education. She later died in Los Angeles on 12 April 1969 from a cerebral hemorrhage at age 93 and was buried alongside her husband in Evergreen Cemetery, Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles, California.

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