Overview of Chapter P : Known as a fiery, uncompromising labor leader and anarchist, Lucy Parsons gained notoriety after Chicago’s 1886 Haymarket Massacre and the execution of her husband Albert. My decision to select her as one of my twenty-six individuals stemmed from Parson’s own writings and the fascinating, if painful, ways in which she experienced Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, Progressivism, and the Red Scare of the 1920s as an African American.
1. Lucy Parsons struggled to find a kindred spirit or ideological ally in Eugene Debs, Emma Goldman, and leaders in the IWW or the Communist Party of America, . Why do you think this was so? Does this make her more or less admirable?
2. Lucy Parsons wrong to deny her racial and ethnic heritage?
3. Lucy Parsons is the only featured American in the book. Discuss the benefits and limitations the author made with this choice.
1. Reenact the Haymarket Trial (without presuming a guilty verdict) with students playing the roles of prosecutors, defendants, witnesses, judge, and jury.
2. Take a speech by an American socialist or Progressive and identify those parts with which Lucy Parsons would have disagreed.
• This article argues that the effects of the Haymarket Riot and bombing changed the way native-born Americans perceived immigrants and helped generate a xenophobia that can still be seen today. See: Veronika Janas, “The Significance of the Haymarket Tragedy Then and Now,” ESSAI, Volume 17, Article 23 (Spring 2019), https://dc.cod.edu/essai/vol17/iss1/23