The Hidden History of Radical Women

“Academics and historians try to keep the subversive lessons of these women’s experiences hidden.” Our job as conscious citizens is to learn these lessons, and share them with others. This educational process is key to moving forward to a critical, independent mind state and workers’ State.


  • Mariana Grajales Maceo – Cuban, daughter of Dominican parents, organiser of enslaved women in the War of Ten Years, and mother of revolutionary hero Antonio Maceo. José Martí said “What was there in that woman? So many sagas and mysteries, such holiness and healing powers within, such decency and greatness out of such a simple life, that writing about her comes from the root of the soul, as gentle as from a child, with intimate affection!”
  • Lucy González Parsons – Radical US trade unionist and leader, libertarian communist, and powerful and influential speaker. She considered the question of class to be more important than questions of gender, setting her apart from her anarchist contemporary Emma Goldman – whose words she said were “directed at the middle classes”.
  • ‘Lolita’ Lebrón – Leader and activist for the Puerto Rican independence movement. In 1954, a nationalist group attacked the House of Representatives of the USA under her orders as a way of drawing attention to the colonial situation of Puerto Rico. It was the first time in history that congressmen had been attacked in the Capitol. As a result, she spent 25 years in prison. Upon her arrest, she shouted “I didn’t come to kill anyone. I came to die for Puerto Rico!”
  • Merle Woo – Writer, lecturer, and leader of Radical Women and the Freedom Socialist Party. Born to a Korean mother and Chinese father in San Francisco in 1941. Teaching historically low-income and educationally disadvantaged students (EOP), she tried to make English learning more relevant by incorporating Third World literature into her teaching. Her support for student protests against racist and conservative policies at the University of California at Berkeley led to her being unfairly dismissed on two occasions.


Ann Rogers and Gil Veyna, Freedom Socialist, oct. 1997, Vol.18, no.3 (Adapted from La Voz del Feminismo Socialista: Lector de Bandera Roja No. 2, (Red Letter Press: Seattle), pp.37-40)



About Ed Sykes

Independent journalist. Co-founder of Phoenix Media Co-operative. Author of Rojava: An Alternative. Ex-Canary editor and writer (2015-2020). Aka 'Oso Sabio' - see @ososabiouk on Twitter.
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