Jim Wilkerson

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Jim Wilkerson, at podium


Jim Wilkerson is a Missouri Communist Party USA activist.

Joining the Party

Jim Wilkerson progressed through the NAACP, CORE, St. Louis Black Labor Council and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists into the ranks of the Communist Party USA[1].

I joined the St. Louis NAACP youth chapter, and in 1965, I joined CORE and participated in the struggle for equal employment at the Jefferson Bank. In 1966, I joined Local 513R of the railway workers union. Fighting racism through the trade union movement, I joined the St. Louis Black Labor Council and began to read left books: Marx's Capital and Foner's Organized Labor and the Black Worker. I began to understand the nature of class division and the role racism plays.

The BLC became one of seven founding chapters of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists in 1972. I joined the CPUSA that same year. It was the Party's principled stance against racism that attracted me. I've seen first-hand how corporate greed uses divisions within the working class to gain more profits.

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

St. Louis Coalition of Black Trade Unionists chapter trustee Jim Wilkerson, attended CBTU’s founding convention with Lew Moye in the early 1970s.[2]

Endorsing Communist Party call

The Communist Party USA paper People's Weekly World issued a statement to mark Labor Day 1995, entitled "We honor the dead and fight like hell for the living."

Of the more than 100 endorsers listed, almost all were identified members of the Communist Party USA.

Jim Wilkerson, Op Engineers Local 513, St Louis Missouri, was on the list.[3]

Birthday Greetings to William "Red" Davis

In December 1995 the Communist Party USA newspaper Peoples Weekly World published a page of 75th birthday greetings to William Davis - "Lifelong working class fighter and Communist"

In the fight for the unity and integrity of the Party in St. Louis, Missouri, in the post-war years, "Red" has been a rock of confidence and commitment to building the Communist Party.

Greetings were sent from Jim Wilkerson of Missouri[4].

Friends of the Peoples Weekly World

The Communist Party USA's Peoples Weekly World 1997 May Day Supplement listed several St. Louis Friends of the Peoples Weekly World. they were Lew Moye, Melanie Shouse, Jay Ozier, Zenobia Thompson, E. E. W. Clay, Luther Mitchell, Susan Davis, Jim Wilkerson, John Pappademos, Nafisa Kabir, William Davis.

Black Radical Congress

THE BLACK SCHOLAR VOLUME 28, NO. 3/4, page 46

At the 1998 Black Radical Congress in Chicago, a panel was convened on "Black Radicalism, Black Workers and Today's Labor Movement"

Panelists were Saladin Muhammad, Lou Moy, Frank Lumpkin, Jim Wilkerson, Theresa Polk-Henderson, Jarvis Tyner (coordinator)

Communist Party USA

In September 2006 the Peoples Weekly World[5]listed several members and friends of the Missouri/Kansas Communist Party USA.

Colan Holmes, Garon Foxx, Glenn Burleigh, Jim Wilkerson, Jocelyn Cochran-Biggs, Joey Mooney, John Pappademos, Julie Terbrock, Katrina Molnar, Kaveh Razani, Margarida Jorge, Mary Barbur , Nafisa Kabir, Phil Webb, Quincy Boyd, Russ Ford, Steve Johnson, Tony Pecinovsky, Yvette Harris, Zenobia Thompson.

Supporting Bowman in 2004

According to a Peoples Weekly World article by Communist Party USA member Tim Wheeler, John L. Bowman Sr., an auto worker active in the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), is "making waves" in his campaign for a second term representing the 70th Legislative District that includes his hometown, Northwoods, in St. Louis County. A tall, genial man, Bowman had just come off night shift at the Chrysler plant when he spoke with the World. He chuckled when asked if he was headed home to get some sleep. 'No,' he replied. 'Sleep can wait.'

Jim Wilkerson, district organizer of the Kansas-Missouri CPUSA and himself a CBTU activist, hailed the team mobilized by the Party and YCL. 'The Party and YCL are rising to the occasion, coalescing with other progressive forces to defend democracy and defeat Bush in November,' he said.[6]

CPUSA Missouri/Kansas District Executive Board

People's Weekly World, April 28 2007, page 4

In 2007, members of the Communist Party's Missouri/Kansas District Executive Board were;

Communist Party Herschel Walker award event

The Missouri Communist Party USA's Friends of the People’s World hosted their 18th annual ‘Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards Breakfast’ Saturday, May 8, 2010, at the CWA Local 6300 Union Hall, 2258 Grissom Drive (in the Westport area), St. Louis.

Newspaper Guild International President Bernie Lunzer was the main speaker for the event.

The honorees were:

The awards honor the memory of late Communist Party USA member Hershel Walker, a Missouri labor and civil rights activist, who died in 1990 at the age of 81. Walker’s life – which spanned 60 years of activism – ended tragically when hit by a car on his way to deliver petitions to save 4,000 jobs at the Chrysler Plant.[8]

Known attendees included Communist Party USA affiliates, Tony Pecinovsky, Jim Wilkerson, Zenobia Thompson, Lew Moye, Glenn Burleigh, Julie Terbrock, John Bowman, Joe Thomas, Jeanette Mott Oxford, Democratic Socialists of America member Joan Suarez, plus Mahrya Monson, Don Giljum, Jessica Pace, Jason Kennedy, Jennifer Rafanan, Solveig Paulson, Dr. Greg Miday, Roosevelt Stewart, Michael Vossler, Maria Chappelle-Nadal, Richard Von Glahn, Shannon Duffy and State Rep. James Morris. [9]

References

  1. http://www.cpusa.org/article/view/1014/
  2. stays in the forefront, Roberta Wood, May 17, 2003
  3. People's Weekly World Sep 2 1995 p 14
  4. Peoples Weekly World December 9, 1995 page 19
  5. We salute the labor movement!, People's World, September 1, 2006
  6. Message from Missouri: 'This is our country! Let's take it back! Political Affairs, Tim Wheeler, July 31 2004
  7. [People's Weekly World, April 28 2007, page 4]
  8. [ http://www.stlouisguild.org/headlines/?p=880St. Louis Newspaper Guild, Guild I.P. Bernie Lunzer to speak Saturday morning at CWA Local 6300, May 5th, 2010]
  9. [Martin Rafanan Flickr photostream, accessed Jan. 8, 2010]