New finding aid for Spark blog posts

7 Dec

(See Navigation page for updates to this post)

We hope to begin adding new posts in 2018 about change makers in the greater Washington, D.C. area that are largely unknown.

However, we wanted to better organize both our blog and photo collections before turning our attention to additional research and writing.

The following are broad categories to help you find our blog posts. They are listed from latest post to oldest post within each category.

Categorizing these posts within broad categories inevitably leads to disputes. Please accept these categories as finding aids instead of viewing them as political statements.

Blog Post Finding Guide

(For photos, see our Flickr photo guide)

Anarchism and Syndicalism

No posts at this time

Antiwar

(See Vietnam War for Indochina conflict)

Unbowed and unbroken Debs comes to Washington: 1921 [January 10, 2016 by JW] A brief description of Socialist Eugene Debs Washington, D.C. visit following his release from prison for opposing World War I.

Civil Rights and Black Liberation Before 1955

DC’s fighting barber and the end of public school segregation [August 20, 2015 by Daniel Hardin]: A look at Gardner Bishop and the Consolidated Parents group that ended legal segregation of schools in the District of Columbia through boycotts picketing and a legal strategy separate from Brown v. Board of Education.

Shootings by DC police spark fight against brutality, 1936-41 [April 20, 2013 by Craig Simpson]: An account of an early civil rights struggle in Washington, D.C. that united the African American community from the NAACP to the Communist Party and implemented many of the tactics that are still used today.

DC’s old Jim Crow rocked by 1939 Marian Anderson concert [March 14, 2013 by Craig Simpson]: A view of the celebrated struggle against the Jim Crow Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall from the viewpoint of activists. It’s a different one than often told where First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Interior Secretary Harold Ickes save the day.

“Scottsboro Boys” – New tactics and strategy for civil rights [February 19, 2013 by Craig Simpson]: The campaign around the “Scottsboro Boys” – nine African American youths accused of raping two Alabama white women—marked the beginning of the civil rights movement out of the churches and into the streets. This account of activities in Washington, D.C. outlines civil disobedience, marches and petition campaigns involving broad coalitions that saved the lives of the nine young men.

Before 1963: The 1922 silent march on Washington [February 6, 2013 by Craig Simpson]: A brief history of the first major African American march on Washington that was held to call for a federal anti-lynching law.

600 black women stand strong: the 1938 crab pickers strike [December 5, 2012 by Craig Simpson]: The amazing struggle of 600 black women led by a communist organizer to improve their conditions and win a union on Maryland’s Jim Crow Eastern Shore. The account is followed by a description of an amazing set of photographs of Crisfield during that time and an account of the communist CIO organizer Michael Howard.

The fight against Capital Transit’s Jim Crow hiring: 1941-55 [October 14, 2012 by Craig Simpson]: The long struggle to integrate Washington’s Capital Transit Company operator ranks—from World War II to the early years of the modern civil rights movement.

A DC labor and civil rights leader remembered: Marie Richardson [November 19, 2012 by Craig Simpson]: Marie Richardson Harris is believed to be the first African American woman to hold national office for a major labor union. She later spearheaded Washington, D.C.’s National Negro Congress and was jailed for four-and-a-half years during the McCarthy era.

Civil Rights and Black Liberation After 1955

Contradictions in the cause: Glen Echo, Maryland 1960 [June 26, 2015 by Daniel Hardin]: A behind the scenes look at the internal conflicts within the storied movement to desegregate the Glen Echo Amusement Park.

Raging civil rights struggle leads to union victories: Cambridge Md. 1963 [May 31, 2015 by Daniel Hardin]: The fierce civil rights struggle that involved armed fighting by blacks and whites and a three-year occupation by the Maryland National Guard leads to unity among workers.

Crazy Dion Diamond: A 1960 Rights Warrior in the Suburbs [January 20, 2013 by the editor]: A brief summary of the activities of one of the civil rights activists in Washington, D.C. in the early 1960s. It is followed by an excerpt from Kwame Ture about an incident in a southern jail with Dion Diamond.

Standing against the Maryland Klan 1971: a personal experience [January 2, 2013 by Bob Simpson, cross-posted in the Daily Kos]: A view of the Maryland Klan and one individual’s decision to confront the group at a Klan picnic and cross burning in Rising Sun, Maryland.

The Black Panther Party Revolutionary People’s Convention: November 1970 [November 25, 2012 by the editor]: The turning point in the Black Panther Party’s influence is told through illustrations of the event.

Communists

Paddy Whalen and the Midnight March of the Baltimore Brigade [February 4 2015 by Daniel Hardin]: The port of Baltimore’s leader of the seamen, Paddy Whalen, exerted a powerful influence on all of Maryland’s and the District of Columbia’s labor and civil rights struggles.

DC police raid 1948 fundraiser by Progressive Party supporters [March 6, 2013 by Craig Simpson]: An account of a relatively minor event at the beginning of the second Red Scare that illustrates the repression that was to come for the next ten years.

Shootings by DC police spark fight against brutality, 1936-41 [April 20, 2013 by Craig Simpson]: An account of an early civil rights struggle in Washington, D.C. that united the African American community from the NAACP to the Communist Party and implemented many of the tactics that are still used today.

Police break up unemployed protest at the White House: 1930 [February 26, 2013 by the editor]: A short account of President Herbert Hoover’s response to a 1930 demonstration by the unemployed sponsored by the Communist Party outside the White House. Hoover would gain notoriety and ultimately be defeated for what the public perceived as his callous attitude toward the social conditions created by the Great Depression.

“Scottsboro Boys” – New tactics and strategy for civil rights [February 19, 2013 by Craig Simpson]: The campaign around the “Scottsboro Boys” – nine African American youths accused of raping two Alabama white women—marked the beginning of the civil rights movement out of the churches and into the streets. This account of activities in Washington, D.C. outlines civil disobedience, marches and petition campaigns involving broad coalitions that saved the lives of the nine young men.

600 black women stand strong: the 1938 crab pickers strike [December 5, 2012 by Craig Simpson]: The amazing struggle of 600 black women led by a communist organizer to improve their conditions and win a union on Maryland’s Jim Crow Eastern Shore. The account is followed by a description of an amazing set of photographs of Crisfield during that time and an account of the communist CIO organizer Michael Howard.

A DC labor and civil rights leader remembered: Marie Richardson [November 19, 2012 by Craig Simpson]: Marie Richardson Harris is believed to be the first African American woman to hold national office for a major labor union. She later spearheaded Washington, D.C.’s National Negro Congress and was jailed for four-and-a-half years during the McCarthy era.

D.C. Area Miscellaneous

DC police raid 1948 fundraiser by Progressive Party supporters [March 6, 2013 by Craig Simpson]: An account of a relatively minor event at the beginning of the second Red Scare that illustrates the repression that was to come for the next ten years.

Cock Rock – The rape of our culture [Originally published October 1972 in the Montgomery Spark by Bob Simpson. Republished February 12, 2013 with additional images]: A view from the left of the debasing of women by male rock music.

Washington Free Press battles suppression: 1969-70 [November 7, 2012 by Craig Simpson] A spunky underground D.C. publication battles authorities to its death, but not before knocking down repressive restrictions on free speech and a free press.

Fight Against Fascism

Standing against the Maryland Klan 1971: a personal experience [January 2, 2013 by Bob Simpson, cross-posted in the Daily Kos]: A view of the Maryland Klan and one individual’s decision to confront the group at a Klan picnic and cross burning in Rising Sun, Maryland.

Immigrant Rights

No posts at this time

 LBGT

MoCo gay teacher fired 1972; justice denied for 40 years [December 20, 2012 by Craig Simpson]: Joe Acanfora, an early gay student activist, is barred from teaching in Montgomery County, Maryland public schools causing a nationwide examination of the issue.

Maryland marriage equality: over 50 years in the making [November 14, 2012 by the editor]: A brief photo history of some of the LGBT liberation struggles in the Washington, D.C. area on the occasion of the passage of Maryland’s marriage equality act.

Labor Movement

Raging civil rights struggle leads to union victories: Cambridge Md. 1963 [May 31, 2015 by Daniel Hardin]: The fierce civil rights struggle that involved armed fighting by blacks and whites and a three-year occupation by the Maryland National Guard leads to unity among workers.

Strike wave at Washington, D.C.’s Capital Transit: 1945 [May 10, 2015 by Daniel Hardin]: In the midst of a struggle over integration and pent-up wage demands following World War II, transit workers in Washington wage a battle to better their conditions and in the process set the stage to transform their union.

Paddy Whalen and the Midnight March of the Baltimore Brigade [February 4 2015 by Daniel Hardin]: The port of Baltimore’s leader of the seamen, Paddy Whalen, exerted a powerful influence on all of Maryland’s and the District of Columbia’s labor and civil rights struggles.

The 1937 Phillips Packinghouse strike – Promise and defeat [September 18, 2014 by Daniel Hardin]: An account of interracial solidarity during a long effort to unionize packinghouse workers on Maryland’s Jim Crow Eastern Shore.

Washington Post strike at the crossroads, December 1975 [December 12, 2012 by Craig Simpson]: An examination of the strengths and weaknesses of Post strike–one of the greatest defeats suffered by labor in the Washington, D.C. area.

600 black women stand strong: the 1938 crab pickers strike [December 5, 2012 by Craig Simpson]: The amazing struggle of 600 black women led by a communist organizer to improve their conditions and win a union on Maryland’s Jim Crow Eastern Shore. The account is followed by a description of an amazing set of photographs of Crisfield during that time and an account of the communist CIO organizer Michael Howard.

A DC labor and civil rights leader remembered: Marie Richardson [November 19, 2012 by Craig Simpson]: Marie Richardson Harris is believed to be the first African American woman to hold national office for a major labor union. She later spearheaded Washington, D.C.’s National Negro Congress and was jailed for four-and-a-half years during the McCarthy era.

Meatcutters strike betrayed: October 24, 1973 [October 24, 2012 by the editor]: A brief description of a Washington, D.C. meat cutters strike in which the national Teamsters Union refused to honor picket lines, dooming the walkout to failure.

For a moment in time….Mineral Pigment strike October 19, 1973 [October 19, 2012 by the editor]: A slide show of one day when worker power held the company at bay (no longer supported in WordPress, but the photos can be seen at our Flickr site.

The fight against Capital Transit’s Jim Crow hiring: 1941-55 [October 14, 2012 by Craig Simpson]: The long struggle to integrate Washington’s Capital Transit Company operator ranks—from World War II to the early years of the modern civil rights movement.

Marijuana

No posts at this time

 Miscellaneous

No posts at this time

National Liberation and Anti-Imperialism

(for Indochina War, see Vietnam War)

No posts at this time

Prison Rights

No posts at this time

Slave Resistance/Revolts/Military Action

Maryland slaves make a bold bid for freedom: July 7-8, 1845 [July 2 2015 by the editor]: An account of upwards of a hundred Maryland slaves that armed themselves and staged a quick time march toward freedom in Pennsylvania.

Socialism

Unbowed and unbroken Debs comes to Washington: 1921 [January 10, 2016 by JW] A brief description of Socialist Eugene Debs Washington, D.C. visit following his release from prison for opposing World War I.

Students

Miami means fight back: 1972 [Originally published in the Montgomery Spark, Vol. 2, No. 1, September 6, 1972 by Bob Simpson. Republished April 26, 2014 with additional photographs}: A first hand account of a group of Maryland radicals dubbed The Route One Brigade that traveled to Miami, Fl. to protest at the 1972 Republican convention.

30 Days in May: U. of Md. 1970 [August, 1970 by the Democratic Radical Union of Maryland. Originally published in The Radical Guide to the University of Maryland, 1970. Republished May 29, 2014 with an introduction and postscript by the editor and added photographs]: A contemporaneous account of the transformation of the sleepy southern campus at the University of Maryland into a hotbed of radicalism that brought the National Guard onto campus to quell protests for three consecutive years

Transit in the D.C. Area

Strike wave at Washington, D.C.’s Capital Transit: 1945 [May 10, 2015 by Daniel Hardin]: In the midst of a struggle over integration and pent-up wage demands following World War II, transit workers in Washington wage a battle to better their conditions and in the process set the stage to transform their union.

The DC women streetcar operators of World War II [March 20, 2013 by Craig Simpson]: In the midst of a World War II shortage of operators and a campaign by African Americans to integrate the operator ranks, the transit company hires women for the first time to pilot the city’s streetcars and buses.

The fight against Capital Transit’s Jim Crow hiring: 1941-55 [October 14, 2012 by Craig Simpson]: The long struggle to integrate Washington’s Capital Transit Company operator ranks—from World War II to the early years of the modern civil rights movement.

U.S. National Domestic Politics and Issues

Native Americans take over the Bureau of Indian Affairs [Originally published November 29, 1972 in the Montgomery Spark by Bob Simpson. Republished March 26, 2013 with added photographs]: An account contemporaneous with events of the Native American Trail of Broken Treaties demonstration and subsequent seizure of the Bureau of Indian Affairs that ended peacefully despite both sides arming themselves during the confrontation.

Unemployed

Police break up unemployed protest at the White House: 1930 [February 26, 2013 by the editor]: A short account of President Herbert Hoover’s response to a 1930 demonstration by the unemployed sponsored by the Communist Party outside the White House. Hoover would gain notoriety and ultimately be defeated for what the public perceived as his callous attitude toward the social conditions created by the Great Depression.

Veterans 

No posts at this time

Vietnam War

Miami means fight back: 1972 [Originally published in the Montgomery Spark, Vol. 2, No. 1, September 6, 1972 by Bob Simpson. Republished April 26, 2014 with additional photographs}: A first hand account of a group of Maryland radicals dubbed The Route One Brigade that traveled to Miami, Fl. to protest at the 1972 Republican convention.

30 Days in May: U. of Md. 1970 [August, 1970 by the Democratic Radical Union of Maryland. Originally published in The Radical Guide to the University of Maryland, 1970. Republished May 29, 2013 with an introduction and postscript by the editor and added photographs]: A contemporaneous account of the transformation of the sleepy southern campus at the University of Maryland into a hotbed of radicalism that brought the National Guard onto campus to quell protests for three consecutive years

The 1969 Nixon Inauguration: horse manure, rocks and a pig [January 9, 2013 by Craig Simpson]: An account of President Richard Nixon’s first Inauguration from the point of view of anti-Vietnam War protesters and how it helped change the movement from protest to confrontation.

Women’s Rights

The DC women streetcar operators of World War II [March 20, 2013 by Craig Simpson]: In the midst of a World War II shortage of operators and a campaign by African Americans to integrate the operator ranks, the transit company hires women for the first time to pilot the city’s streetcars and buses.

Cock Rock – The rape of our culture [Originally published October 1972 in the Montgomery Spark by Bob Simpson. Republished February 12, 2013 with additional images]: A view from the left of the debasing of women by male rock music.

When abortion was legalized: one woman’s experience [Originally published February 1972 in the Montgomery Spark by an anonymous woman. It was republished January 15, 2013]: A woman’s experience with abortion shortly after the procedure was legalized in the District of Columbia followed by her reflections 40 years later.

Washington Area Spark

Washington Area Spark – Flickr photo collection guide [October 4, 2017 by the editor]: A finding aid for photographs and other images on the Washington Area Spark Flickr site]

2000 historic photos of DC activism now online [January 26, 2016 by the editor]: Links to some of the most popular and interesting photo collections on the Washington Area Spark Flickr site]

Vintage Washington Area Spark comes back to life 1971-75 [October 13, 2015 by the editor]: a brief description of the original Washington Area Spark and On The Move newspapers and links to PDFs of the tabloid.

A million and counting… [February 15, 2015 by the editor]: A post highlighting some of the popular an interesting photo sets from Spark’s Flickr collection.

Spark 1st Quarter in Review [April 3, 2013, by the editor]: A recap of posts that were published during the first three months of 2013 with brief descriptions and links.

Spark 4th quarter in review [December 26, 2012 by the editor]: A brief summary of the Washington Area Spark blog posts for the previous three months].

Welcome to Washington Area Spark [October 13, 2012 by the editor]: The opening post that gives a brief description of the blog and its mission.

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