In 1970, Angela Davis was arrested on suspicion of murder. She was already the victim of red-baiting witch hunts led by conservatives, but the trial — and her eventual victory — proved to everyone that the justice system was corrupt.
Joel Whitney is the author of Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World's Best Writers. His work has also appeared in Newsweek, Poetry Magazine, the New York Times, the New Republic, and elsewhere.
Diego Rivera was a champion of the socialist cause who sought to produce art that “belongs to all mankind.” Nowhere was this vision more clear than in his mural Pan American Unity, a homage to Hollywood, Mexican culture, and modernism.
Paul Robeson, the socialist actor, musician, and civil rights campaigner, dedicated his life to battling against right-wing red-baiting that has echoes in reactionary crusades against progressive education and “critical race theory” today.
Lorraine Hansberry is best known for her classic play A Raisin in the Sun. But she was also a committed radical who insisted that black workers must be at the heart of the struggle for liberation.
There was nothing J. Edgar Hoover feared more than a charismatic black radical who could inspire the oppressed to fight back. And that’s why, according to a compelling new series, the FBI had its fingerprints all over Malcolm X’s murder.
Arundhati Roy has a tendency to rile India’s media and political elites like no one else on the subcontinent. Perhaps that’s because no writer today, in India or anywhere in the world, writes with the kind of beautiful, piercing prose in defense of the wretched of the earth that Roy does.