History Uncategorized

Bass: The First Black Woman to Run For Vice President in the United States

Charlotta Bass was a political activist and journalist who became the first African American woman to run for Vice President of the United States of America in 1952.

She began her career as a conservative Republican but her politics changed by the 1940s. Then Bass became more progressive though she abandoned the Democratic party due to what she said was their inability to address the concerns of the rights of Black people and women. So Bass aligned with the Progressive Party. She first supported Henry Wallace in 1948 as the Progressive Party candidate.

Four years later, Bass was a nominee herself. “It is a great honor to be chosen as a pioneer. And a great responsibility. But I am strengthened by thousands on thousands of pioneers who stand by my side and look over my shoulder—those who have led the fight for freedom—those who led the fight for women’s rights,” Bass once said.

Though she knew her chances were slim, only receiving 140,000 votes, Bass was undeterred. However, despite this "defeat," Bass is just as much of a prominent figure in the historical context of Black women running for office as Fannie Lou Hamer and Shirley Chisholm.