Permanent Black Man
On September 29, 1951, a decade before the March on Washington, a group of Black women known as the Sojourners for Truth and Justice convened in Washington D.C. to advocate for their rights.
The group had published a manifesto titled “A Call To Negro Women” where they stated their grievances at racial terrorism, along with South African apartheid, U.S. militarism, and colonialism. They focused on their identities as mothers, sisters, wives, and women in their experiences with racial violence and prejudice.
The Sojourners for Truth and Justice aimed to expose the state’s role in violence against Black women. The group was filled with prominent Black activists, such as Louise Thompson Patterson, Shirley Graham Du Bois, and Charlotta Bass.
"A Black Woman Speaks of White Womanhood, of White Supremacy, of Peace" was written in 1951 by activist turned actress Beulah Richardson [later, Beah Richards] which inspired Louise Thompson Patterson to form the group. When W. E. B. DuBois was arrested for spreading “communist propaganda,” more women joined forces, leading to their protest in Washington.
The organization was known for its communist, Black nationalist, and intersectional feminist ideology, causing many of the leaders to be under fire during the Red Scare. Along with the other members, Louise Thompson Patterson was harassed by the government and had her passport seized, the pressure eventually causing the group to dissolve.