Charlotta Bass

Topics: African American, Black people, Activism Pages: 6 (2202 words) Published: April 18, 2013
Florencia Reyes
Dr. Andrea Johnson
Women Studies 101
April 19, 2013
Charlotta Bass
Charlotta Bass was born on February 14, 1879 in South Carolina ( She moved to Rhode Island to live with her older brother but immigrated to California for health reasons (Houck and Dixon pg. 148). Soon after arriving, got a job selling newspaper subscriptions and doing odd jobs for the California Owl. A black newspaper founded by John Neimore in 1879 who suddenly got ill and asked her to control the operation of the paper upon his death. She began to serve as a publisher-editor and named to the California Eagle newspaper. It began to take it in a new path by focusing on social and political concerns. Charlotta Bass and her husband Joseph Bass were the editors of their own newspaper until 1951. First black woman to own a newspaper and used to protest against racial issues (Bass, pg. 13). Although not particular well known, Charlotta Bass was one of many influential African Americans who aided in improving upon today’s world. It was fearless to express her beliefs on right and wrong if she truly believed in. She was especially concerned about better jobs and housing for immigrants and women rights. Charlotta Bass was a journalist, business owner, publisher-editor, and civil rights activist, feminist, and political leader. Bass used the newspaper to point out racial discrimination and other monstrosity’s abuse against blacks. Charlotta Bass fought for civil rights, women's rights and the rights of all the oppressed. She battled and expressed great concern for world peace. Since 1912 the newspaper was a weapon used to fight for equality between Negros and white ( The California Eagle who gave voice to the minorities to enjoy freedom as citizens. Bass come across situations of racial discrimination throughout her career and personal life because she wrote about powerful whites socially oppressing blacks ( She speaks out in favored of the poor, oppressed, and defenseless blacks on a city control by the powerless whites. Charlotta used the California Eagle to inspire African Americans to stand up against oppression and accused such as racist practices among black people. Therefore, Bass fought battles against powerful people because of discrimination against Negros abuse ( Because of all the similar Jim Crown laws that separate blacks and whites on the city. Therefore she fought the employment practices of the fire department and hospital that only allowed taking exams but not hired black people to work as well. It used own column to talk about the issue that the city government did not permit blacks to work on city jobs. Bass argument was to increase responsibility in the representation of African American characters and how bad was exposed on the society. They were portrayed in a very negative approach so she began a movement against film industries to prohibit the negative image of blacks. It was to demand fair treatment among blacks and white actors not to favor or glorified certain races because of these films. During her journalistic and political career Bass struggled for the civil rights of Negros thru a variety of practical issues. Charlotta attacked racism on all fronts by calling attention to the community and pushed reforms to stopped discrimination on the housing and workplace. But she was not satisfied with simply describing undeserved conditions. She used her weekly column "On the Sidewalk" and other editorials to promote direct-action campaigns (Houck and Dixon pg. 148). Bass also battled cases for residents of lower-class neighborhood as well by taking cases to court to fight for equal housing between Negros and Whites (The California Eagle 1). It was the last fight of Charlotta Bass as social activist and last issued published in the California Eagle before selling the newspaper. Charlotta was a black woman who quickly expanded and diversified her roles on politics to...

Bibliography: Bass, Charlotta A. Forty Years: Memoirs from the Pages of a Newspaper. Los Angeles: C.A. Bass, 1960. Print.
Bilanchone, Catherine M
Charlotta Bass/California Eagle Photograph Collection. 1951. Photograph. Los Angeles. Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. Web. 23 Mar. 2013. <>.
Freer, Regina
Glasrud, Bruce A., and Cary D. Wintz. African Americans and the Presidency: The Road to the White House. New York, NY: Routledge, 2010. Print.
Gottlieb, Robert
Houck, Davis W., and David E. Dixon. Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965. Jackson: University of Mississippi, 2009. Print.
Nelson, Stanley
"Petition to Governor Earl Warren of California." Southern California Library. Charlotta Bass and the California Eagle, n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2013. <>.
Riley, Glenda
Taylor, Ula Y. "Women in the Black Radical Tradition." Reading Men and Nations (1999): 72-80. Print.
Verge, Arthur C. "The Impact of the Second World War on Los Angeles." Pacific Historical Review 3rd ser. 63 (1941-1945): 289-314. JSTOR. Web. 2 Feb. 2013. <>.
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