Women’s History Month: Lucy Gonzales Parsons

On March 7, 1942, fire engulfed the simple home of 89-year-old Lucy Gonzales Parsons on Chicago’s North Troy Street, and ended a life dedicated to liberating working women and men of the world from capitalism and racial oppression. A dynamic, militant, self-educated public speaker and writer, she became the first American woman of color to carry her crusade for socialism across the country and overseas. Lucy Gonzales started life in Texas. She was of Mexican American, African American, and Native American descent and born into slavery. The path she chose after emancipation led to conflict with the Ku Klux Klan, hard work, painful personal losses, and many nights in jail.

…Lucy Parsons’ determined effort to elevate and inspire the oppressed to take command remained alive among those who knew, heard, and loved her. But few today are aware of her insights, courage, and tenacity.”

—From a profile of Lucy Gonzales Parsons (1853–1942). By William Loren Katz.

Click here to continuing reading the full profile at the Zinn Education Project!