Reflections in Black: Charlotta Bass

Sep 2, 2020

Born in 1869 in South Carolina, Charlotta Spears was destined for greatness. She moved to Rhode Island before settling in Los Angeles where she made a living selling subscriptions for a black newspaper called The Eagle. She later married the paper's editor Joseph Blackburn Bass. As a feminist and political activist, Charlotta Bass spoke out against the Ku Klux Klan in California and stood up against President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal representatives. In 1948, Bass supported Henry Wallace for president, and in 1952, she became the first black woman candidate nominated for vice president, running on the Progressive ticket. Throughout her life, Bass would deal with heavy FBI surveillance, but she continued to fight for equal rights until her death in 1969.