Why The FBI Hid The Story Of The Most Dangerous Black Woman Ever
“When the women take hold of a great and crying evil, you may expect revolution — not necessarily a revolution of blood and destruction, yet not necessarily one of peace.” - Lucy Parsons
Revolutionary, radical, anarchist---these titles barely scratch the surface in capturing the identities Lucy Parsons took on during her life. According to local Chicago authorities, Parsons was more dangerous than a thousand rioters, and they were right.
Parsons’ power was in her pen. Her writings terrified the government so much that the FBI forbid her from speaking in public. Can you imagine?
On the same day she died in 1942, the government raided her home and stole 40 years worth of journal entries and books detailing her beliefs on socialism and anarchy...left never to be found again.
During her early 20s, Parsons fled Texas with her husband for fear of retribution for their political involvement. Texas officials shot her husband in the leg and threatened to lynch him for trying to register Black voters. So, they set out for Chicago.
Parsons’ sole mission was to fight for the poor and disenfranchised in the face of an oppressive American government.
Her disdain for the wealthy is clear when she writes, “Let every dirty, lousy tramp arm himself with a revolver or knife and lay in wait on the steps of the palaces of the rich and stab or shoot their owners as they come out. Let us kill them without mercy, and let it be a war of extermination and without pity.”
The Chicago police arrested her numerous times for the alleged “crime” of disseminating revolutionary-based pamphlets on the streets. She despised capitalism and argued that Black people were oppressed because they were poor, not because they were Black.
She also believed violent and direct actions were the only way to change the capitalist system and ensure workers’ demands were met, which is why the government tried to silence her.
Parsons’ affiliations with the Socialist Party, Communist Party, and dozens of radical newspapers made her a prime target for the FBI.
Although Parsons’ story has been buried, her ideas and powerful speeches still hold great value to radical organizations seeking equality for the poor and minorities. If you are intrigued by her incredible story, pick up a copy of Lucy Parsons: An American Revolutionary here to dig deeper into her work and legacy.
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