Communist Party USA

  At the intersection of African American History and Women’s History months is a long list of Black women who have made history as civil rights, labor, and peace activists, educators, scientists, elected officials, physicians, astronauts, artists, and much more. Prominent among them, and combining several of those roles, is the journalist and activist Marvel Cooke. In her long life (1903–2000), Cooke participated in such crucial and often interrelated developments as the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, the intense upsurge of labor organizing in the 1930s, and decades of work for world peace, civil rights, and civil liberties. Along the way she, too, achieved “firsts”—first woman journalist at the Amsterdam News, participant in organizing New York City’s first Newspaper Guild chapter, first African American or woman reporter at the white-owned daily Compass. In fact, Marvel Cooke’s life began with a “first”—the first African-American baby born in Mankato, Minn. Her father,…

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The marvelous Marvel Cooke, African American journalist