e-Duke Books

Louise Thompson Patterson:

A Life of Struggle for Justice

By Keith Gilyard

Born in 1901, Louise Thompson Patterson was a leading and transformative figure in radical African American politics. Throughout most of the twentieth century she embodied a dedicated resistance to racial, economic, and gender exploitation. In this, the first biography of Patterson, Keith Gilyard tells her compelling story, from her childhood on the West Coast, where she suffered isolation and persecution, to her participation in the Harlem Renaissance and beyond. In the 1930s and 1940s she became central, along with Paul Robeson, to the labor movement, and later, in the 1950s, she steered proto-black-feminist activities. Patterson was also crucial to the efforts in the 1970s to free political prisoners, most notably Angela Davis. In the 1980s and 1990s she continued to work as a progressive activist and public intellectual. To read her story is to witness the courage, sacrifice, vision, and discipline of someone who spent decades working to achieve justice and liberation for all.

  1. Page xi
  2. Page 1
  3. Page 7
  4. Page 26
  5. Page 42
  6. Page 61
  7. Page 81
  8. Page 97
  9. Page 113
  10. Page 129
  11. Page 145
  12. Page 162
  13. Page 182
  14. Page 195
  15. Page 212
  16. Page 231
  17. Page 271
  18. Page 283