Claude Lightfoot

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Claude Lightfoot was a Chicago Communist Party USA leader.

Abraham Lincoln School

The Abraham Lincoln School for Social Sciences was a Chicago institution of the 1930s and 1940s, run by the Communist Party USA.

Faculty members were Morris Backall, Michael Baker, Frank Marshall Davis, Horace Davis, David Englestein, Morton Goldsholl, Pat Hoverder, Alfonso Iannelli, Leon Katzen, Ludwig Kruhe, Herschel Meyer, Henry Noyes, William L. Patterson, Fred Ptashne, Eleanore Redwin, Boris M. Revsine, Frank Sokolik, William Rose, Herman Schendel, Bernice Targ and Morris Topchevsky.

A South Side annex to the school was is located at 4448 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Dr. Walter S. Neff was director. Instructors included Albert George, Charlie Mitchell, Lester Fox, Geraldyne Lightfoot, Ishmael Flory, David Englestein, Irving Herman, Earl Durham, Claude Lightfoot and Walter Miller[1].

Communist Party Affiliation

In Chicago on October 27, 1971 - The Presidential Ballroom of the Midland Hotel was packed with more than 400 people last Friday to mark the 8Oth birthday of Wiliam L.Patterson, the man who rocked the world with his charge of genocide against the U.S. imperialists. Spokesmen for the committee sponsoring the banquet told the Daily World that many who had delayed in getting reservations had to be turned away. Veterans of the working class movement said they could not remember an occasion bringing together such a broad spectrum of workers, trade unionists and professionals, in a tribute to a Communist leader.[2]

According to the World[3]-sharing the head table with Patterson and his wife; Louise Thompson Patterson, were Ishmael Flory, master of ceremonies and chairman of the Banquet Committee; Henry Winston, chairman of the Communist Party; Claude Lightfoot and Arnold Johnson, CP leaders; Mrs. Sallye Davis, mother of Angela Davis, Pearl Hart, civil liberties attorney, Rev. John Hill, chairman of the Aliance to End Repression, Ernest DeMaio, director of District 11 of the United Electrical Workers; Jack Kling, secretary of the Illinois CP; Lynn Stinnette, Illnois chairman of the Young Workers Liberation League, and Betty Smith and Tommy Dennis, who led delegations from Minnesota and Michigan respectively.

1979 Tribute to Claude Lightfoot in Chicago

On Sunday, February 11, 1979, the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and its supporters held "a salute" and "tribute" regarding "the history of Black people and pay tribute to one of those who has shaped that history, Claude Lightfoot, veteran Black leader of the working class and the Communist Party," according to the Feb. 15, 1979 article "800 crowd Chicago hotel to Honor Claude Lightfoot", Daily World (DW), Page 4, by Ted Pearson.

The people attending this affair were described variously as "from all walks of life", "many of them life-long friends and associates of Lightfoot", and "the crowd represented Black, white and Latino peoples, young and old." Also, the "sons, daughters and even grandchildren" of those who worked with with Lightfoot and "other Communists during the Depression and World War II" were there.

Excerpts from this article revealed the following:

Sitting on the speakers' platform were such notables as:

The main speaker was:

"Highlighting the event was Peter Seeger and the Rev. Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick, who gave a concert of the music of the freedom struggle."

The concert itself was sponsored by a committee co-chaired by:

Telegrams to the audience and to Dr. Lightfoot were received from:

"A literature table at the back of the hall did a brisk sale of Lightfoot's two most recent books, "Racism and Human Survival," and "Human Rights, U.S. Style."

Quote from Lightfoot: "I have been free since the day I joined the Communist Party. I have never had to compromise the man. Material things have not been forthcoming, but I was free - free at last."

References

  1. "Testimony of Walter S. Steele regarding Communist activities in the United States. Hearings before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eightieth Congress, first session, on H. R. 1884 and H. R. 2122, bills to curb or outlaw the Communist Party in the United States. Public law 601 (section 121, subsection Q (2) July 21, 1947" pages 52-53
  2. Daily World October 28 1971
  3. Daily World October 28 1971