James W. Ford (1893-1957)

Communist Party Presidential Campaign Poster, 1932 with image of James Ford as the Vice Presidential Candidate. Image Ownership: Public domain James W. Ford was Special Organizer of the Communist Party’s (CP) Harlem, New York section and the most prominent black Communist in the nation during the 1930s … Read MoreJames W. Ford (1893-1957)

Willard S. Townsend (1895-1957)

African American labor leader Willard S. Townsend was born on December 4, 1895, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Willard and Cora Elizabeth Townsend. In 1938, he organized railway workers of several Chicago, Illinois stations to form the International Brotherhood of Redcaps and remained the union’s president … Read MoreWillard S. Townsend (1895-1957)

Aileen Clarke Hernandez (1926– )

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Civil, Women’s, and Union Rights Activist Aileen Clarke Hernandez was born Aileen Clarke to Jamaican immigrant parents on May 23, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother, Ethel Louise Hall, was a theatrical seamstress, and her father, Charles Henry Clarke, was … Read MoreAileen Clarke Hernandez (1926– )

Ferdinand Christopher Smith (1893-1961)

Ferdinand Smith, Chicago Alderman Earl B. Dickerson and Donald M. Nelson, Chair of the War Production Board, 1943 Image Ownership: Public Domain Jamaican-born Ferdinand Christopher Smith became a prominent twentieth century international labor activist and leader.  At an early age Smith left Jamaica’s poor economic … Read MoreFerdinand Christopher Smith (1893-1961)

Benjamin Harrison Fletcher (1890-1949)

Benjamin Fletcher, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1890, was the most important African American in the most influential radical union of his time, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Fletcher became active in the IWW while working as a longshoreman, loading and unloading cargo … Read MoreBenjamin Harrison Fletcher (1890-1949)