The FBI agent who had been sitting in his hot, stuffy car all day was deployed to surveil the nursing home across the road. It had been another uneventful day. He noted the comings and goings: deliveries – crates of milk and bags of groceries; the postman; nursing staff in their starched uniforms either arriving or leaving; and, towards early evening, a steady stream of relatives visiting elderly residents. When the agent finished his shift, he drove back to the office and typed up what he determined would be his final entry.
JULY 3, 1967
Thus, it was Charlotta Bass and not Kamala Harris who was the first African American woman to run as Vice President of the United States.
Charlotta Bass and Paul Robeson (1949)
There was, however, one notable omission: Charlotta Bass. Despite both women hailing from the same state of California, Bass, a pioneer of the civil rights movement, has remained an obscure figure. Arguably, one explanation was inadvertently alluded to in the remainder of Harris’s speech: “We’re not often taught their stories.”
Charlotta Bass: Before Kamala Harris America’s First Black Female Vice Presidential Candidate chronicles the life, activism and political quest of Charlotta Bass.