Summary and Info
Lucy Parsons was black, a woman, and working class-three reasons people are often excluded from history. Lucy herself pointed out the class bias of history in 1905 when she criticized historians who had written about "the course of wars, the outcome of battles, political changes, the rise and fall of dynasties and other similar movements, leaving the lives of those whose labor has built the world. . . in contemptuous silence." The problem of piecing together Lucy Parsons' life (1853-1942) from fragmentary evidence was more difficult than the usual problem of writing about a working class rebel, because the forces of "law and order" seized her personal papers at the time of her death. Even among histories by and about socialists, the work of women has been largely ignored. On the left, the view of Lucy Parsons as the tt devoted assistant" of her martyred husband Albert Richard Parsons is prevalent. Feminists who have forgotten the radical working class roots of the feminist movement have also overlooked Lucy Parsons. Editors of the Radcliffe Notable American Women three volume work consigned Lucy Parsons to their discard file on the grounds that she was "largely propelled by husband's fate" and was a pathetic figure, living in the past and crying injustice" after the Haymarket Police Riot.
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