She Made Sure Black Voices Were Heard And Uplifted

Portrait of Charlotta Bass
Leslie Taylor-Grover
April 19, 2023

Charlotta Bass sat working in her office when she heard a suspicious noise. Suddenly, they burst into her office, barking like angry dogs. She was surrounded by the KKK.

She was going to die for what she was doing, they threatened. What had made these racists so angry?

Her community and political activism. Her newspaper, The California Eagle, confronted racial injustice, Jim Crow, and police brutality. The FBI even put her on their Communist Watch list.

Having a Black political agenda in her time was dangerous. But she had a secret weapon – literally.

She pulled out her gun. Despite being a public figure and a powerful voice for equal rights, she was about to be murdered. 

When she brandished her weapon at her attackers, they fled. But it was still a close call.

Her Black political agenda and activism would always make her target. California was an open-carry state – so she always stayed ready to defend herself.

She refused to cower, even though standing up for her beliefs and her community was dangerous. How are you defending yourself and your community from oppression?