Talk:Lucy Parsons

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Nice job on this and other anarchist- and labor-related articles! It's clear you're serious about your work and I'm very impressed. Oh, yeah: it'd be great for you to log in -- I want to watch more stuff that you do. -- ESP 01:30 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Renunciation of anarchism[edit]

This article currently states that Lucy Parsons renounced anarchism as counter-revolutionary in 1939. While I have no reason to doubt this claim in itself, it appears to contradict a claim that Parsons renounced anarchism "along with" Voltairine de Cleyre in 1909. Since both of these statements were inserted into the respective articles by the same person, and that person happens to be Bob Black who has a rather tarnished history in the anarchist movement, I'm requesting a fact check to reveal the source for the information.


The article should mention that in 19th Century Chicago, Anarchism was a catch-all description for all labor radicals, including Marxism, socialism, etc. Few of the so-called anarchists of that time and place can be called true anarchists, in the sense that we know them. Albert Parsons once made the comment that if the capitalists wanted to call him an anarchist he gladly accepted the label. Many of these same "anarchists" were also members of the Workingmans' Party, which supported the Chinese Exclusion Act.

It would be helpful then to briefly define "true anarchism" as we know it today and to link to a broader article on the subject. Very well-written article. User:Okelle

CP information[edit]

The information stating that Lucy Parsons never joined the CP is incorrect. According to both versions of her biography available at (The Lucy Parsons Center) she did join the Communist Party in 1939. Dandannoodles

I just ran across this passage:

"It was doubtless her activity in the ILD that led some people to believe that she actually joined the communist party, though she explicitly denied this in letters to old friends. This careless and unfounded assertion in Ashbaugh's biography--that Lucy joined the CP-- has since been repeated ad nauseam by other writers and by Ashbough herself in the Encyclopedia of the American Left. Thus the unlikely image of Lucy Parsons as Communist--or worse, as The Anarchist Who Became a Communist--added more confusion to the already confused mythology of the US Left."

Page 20. LUCY PARSONS: FREEDOM, EQUALITY & SOLIDARITY Writinga & Speeches, 1878-1937, Edited by Gale Ahrens (c) 2003 Charles H Kerr Publishing

She goes on from there to spend several paragraphs explaining why the Communist myth is utterly improbable and specifically cites

Letter to Carl Nold, January 31, 1934, copy in the Carolyn Ashbaugh files...

Given that this is a very recent book that's heavily rooted in primary sources, I think Gale Ahrens' writing supersedes older disinfo. 09:42, 8 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't know who was reverting it before, but in light of this, I'm going to edit the communist reference out of the page. If you have sources superior to Ahrens, by all means provide them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:44, 8 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

CP dispute[edit]

Again, it has been changed back to "Parsons never joined the CP," now citing one (1) work for this against every other biography--even ones by anarchists--without any mention in the discussion area. This is absurd. Cite relevant evidence in discussion, or go with the consensus. Dandannoodles

Reverted again[edit]

Citing one article which asserts (providing no actual evidence) that Lucy Parsons never joined the Communist Party as enough evidence to warrant changing the entire section, which had been balanced as at least a subject of dispute in order to appease this ludicrous theory, constitutes a total abandonment of scholarship as well as a brazen display of intellectual dishonesty. Yet the page is changed back again and again without any discussion on the part of the person(s) changing it.

Even the CP claims Lucy Parsons was a member, and whatever my own misgivings about the CPUSA, I suspect they have membership records. Aside from this, all other reputable _scholarly_ biographies of Parsons point out that she was, at one time, a CP member.

So discuss this point, or so we can try and reach some understanding, or stop changing the piece. Dandannoodles 15:56, 18 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Knights of Labor condemnation[edit]

Curious why someone removed this:

For ten years until that point, she had been a member of the Knights of Labor, which condemned the Haymarket defendants.

I'm not saying the removal is unjustified-- but the Knights did condemn the Haymarket rally and the riot, per James Green, page 193 of Death in the Haymarket.

I don't know about Lucy Parson's membership in same org, and so cannot vouch for that. Richard Myers 08:01, 17 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pretty sure she was never a member of the Knights of Labor. They were much too moderate for her. (talk) 01:43, 17 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Carolyn Ashbaugh[edit]

Carolyn Ashbaugh's biography is hardly a reliable source -- she proclaims that Parsons and the Chicago anarchists were not, in fact, anarchists! She proclaims Kropotkin the "gentle anarchist theoretician of non-violence” when he was in favour of armed insurrection. More details can be found in this review of her book in Anarcho-Syndicalist Review:

As for her joining the CP, these derive from her book -- including, in all probablity, those from the IWW, the Lucy Parsons Project, etc. While it fits in with Ashbaugh's nonsense that Parsons was not really an anarchist, it does seem unlikely as Ahrens notes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:23, 20 January 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Editors watching this article are invited to join the discussion at Talk:Emma Goldman#Conflict with Lucy Parsons. Schazjmd (talk) 13:20, 18 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]