Fran Beal

From KeyWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Fran Beal

Frances M. Beal is an Oakland, California activist and writer.

Early life

Fran Beal was born in Binghamton, NY, January 13, 1940, the daughter of Ernest Yates, who was of African American and Native American ancestry, and Charlotte Berman Yates, of radical Russian Jewish immigrant roots. When Fran's father died, her mother moved the family to St. Albans, an integrated neighborhood in Queens, where her mother was active[1]in left politics.

Early political activism

After graduating from High School in 1958, Fran Yates became involved socialist politics at the University of Wisconsin. She married James Beal, and from 1959 to 1966, lived in France, where Frances followed the internationalist/anti-imperialist politics of African liberation struggles. During summers in the U.S. in those years, she maintained connections with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). When her marriage ended and she returned to the United States in 1966, where she worked with the National Council of Negro Women, for a decade.

In 1968 Beal co-founded the Black Women's Liberation Committee of SNCC and wrote an important black feminist tract, "Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female" (Sisterhood is Powerful, ed. Robin Morgan, 1970). The Committee evolved into the Black Women's Alliance and later, to include Puerto Rican women, into the Third World Women's Alliance (TWWA). TWWA developed an analysis predicated on the interaction of race, class, and sex oppression and on an internationalist perspective...Beal joined the TWWA chapter in New York, focusing on abortion rights and sterilization abuse.

California activism

In the 1980s Beal moved to California where she served as associate editor of The Black Scholar and wrote a weekly column in the San Francisco Bay View. In recent years she has worked with the National Anti-Racist Organizing Committee (NAROC) and with the Racial Justice Project of the ACLU of Northern California.

Line of March

In the late 1970s Fran Beal was active[2], in the Oakland based Maoist organization Line of March.

Contributing editor

In 1980, contributing editors to Line of March were Tom Angotti, Fran Beal, Ralph Beitel, William Bollinger, Dale Borgeson, Jim Dann, Michael Downing, Cam Duncan, James Early, Phil Gardiner, Steve Hamilton, Fred Lass, Dan Lund, Jan Newton, Tim Patterson, Mel Rothenberg, Ann Schwartz, Albert Szymanski.[3]

Malcolm X conference

A conference, Malcolm X: Radical Tradition and a Legacy of Struggle was held in New York City, November 14 1990.

The "Black Women and Black Liberation: Fighting Oppression and Building Unity" panel consisted of;



Institute for Social and Economic Studies/CrossRoads

In the mid 1990s Fran Beal served[4]on the Board of Directors of Oakland based Institute for Social and Economic Studies- sponsor of CrossRoads magazine, which sought to promote dialogue and building new alliances among progressives and leftists... and to bring diverse Marxist and socialist traditions to bear while exploring new strategies and directions for the progressive political movements.

CoC National Conference endorser

In 1992 Fran Beal, African Americans for Peace and Justice, Oakland, endorsed the Committees of Correspondence national conference Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s held at Berkeley California July 17-19.[5]

Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s

The Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s was the Committees of Correspondence's first national conference held in Berkeley, California July 17-19, 1992.[6]

Workshops that were held at the conference on Saturday, July 18 included:[7]

African American What lies behind and beyond LA? What strategy for African-American liberation? What is its place in the general struggle for democracy and social advance?

CoC National Coordinating Committee

The following are listed in order of votes they received as members of the Committees of Correspondence National Coordinating Committee, elected at the Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s held at Berkeley California July 17-19.:[7]

Committees of Correspondence

In July 1994 Beal was elected[8]to the 15 member National Co-ordinating Committee of Committees of Correspondence at CoC's founding conference in Chicago.

In July 1996 Fran Beal was a member of the National Co-ordinating Committee of Committees of Correspondence. [9]

2002 Committees of Correspondence National Convention

At the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, National Conference and Convention, July 25-28, 2002 San Francisco State University, Fran Beal spoke on The Meaning of Durban – Where Do We Go From Here?……………………………………………… ……………………………………………….[10]

Black Radical Congress

In 2000 Fran Beal served on the Coordinating Committee of the Black Radical Congress.[11]

Sacramento Marxist School

On Oct 19 2000 Fran Beal lectured at the Sacramento Marxist School on The Politics of the Black Radical Congress.[12]

War Times

In January 2002, a group of San Francisco leftists, mainly involved with STORM or Committees of Correspondence, founded a national anti-Iraq War newspaper[13] War Times.

Endorsers of the project included Frances M. Beal, national secretary, Black Radical Congress.

Open Letter to Obama on Iran

In 2008 Frances M. Beal a Retired Writer/Journalist, Oakland, CA signed an online petition “A Open Letter to Barack Obama on Iran”.[14]

Ella Baker Center supporter

In 2009 Frances M. Beal was a financial supporter of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland, California.[15]


  2. Prophetic Fragments page 47 By Cornel West
  3. LOM, Vol 1,No 2, July Aug. 1980 p 2
  4. Crossroads March 1996
  5. CCDS Background
  6. Conference program
  7. 7.0 7.1 Proceedings of the Committees of Correspondence Conference: Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the '90s booklet, printed by CoC in NY, Sept. 1992 (Price: $4)
  9. Convention program, July 1996
  10. [The Corresponder Vol 10, number 1, June 2002]
  11. BRC Today, Volume 1, Issue 4, Winter 2000-01, page 9
  13. WAR TIMES January 29, 2002
  14. Open Letter to Obama on Iran
  15. Ella Baker Center 2009 Supporters as of December 21, 2009