James E. Jackson (1914-2007) was an African-American communist and civil rights activist, best known for his role in founding and leading the Southern Negro Youth Congress (1937-1948). He became head of the Louisiana state organization of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) in 1946, and was a Party organizer in the automobile industry in Detroit from 1947 to 1950. He then moved to New York, becoming the Southern Director for the Communist Party. In 1951 he was indicted under the Smith Act (charged with advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government), and became a fugitive until 1955. He later served as the CPUSA’s Educational Director and International Affairs Secretary, retiring in 1991.
James Dolsen (1885-1988) was a founding member of the CPUSA and a writer for The Daily Worker. He attended Beloit College in Wisconsin and Northwestern University Law School in Chicago. While in Chicago, Dolsen joined the Socialist Party in 1910. In 1917, he became an Organizer for the National Organization of the Socialist Party, and went on to help form the Communist Labor Party of America, which was one of the predecessors of the CPUSA. Dolsen remained a Party member until his death in 1988.
Click here to listen to James Dolsen’s interview from the Oral History of the American Left Collection.
Tauhma Seid was a member of the Young Communist League and the Communist Party of the United States during the 1940s and 1950s.
Karl Yoneda (1906-1999) was a Japanese-American union organizer and activist. He was a World War II veteran, and helped to found the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. During the 1920s, he became involved with the Communist Party, and changed his name to Karl in honor of Karl Marx. His family was incarcerated at a California concentration camp in 1942. Even after his retirement in 1972, he continued his membership with the Communist Party.
Jessie Taft Smith (1914-) was a New York City activist and organizer, and a member of the Communist Party USA. She was a worker rights advocate and participated in garment strikes during her youth.