"Learn, Babies, Learn": Civil Rights, Anticommunism & African American FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) Informants Lola Belle Holmes & Julia Brown
Author: Veronica A. Wilson, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Comment: Janice A. Brockley, Jackson State University
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This paper explores the careers of Lola Belle Holmes and Julia Brown, African Americans who spied for the FBI within the U.S. Communist Party in the 1940s-50s. In the 1960s, Brown and Holmes became speakers for the John Birch Society. Condemning Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a Communist sympathizer, they claimed subversives permeated the civil rights movement.
Veronica A. Wilson’s project analyzes Holmes and Brown’s rhetoric, objectives, and efforts to elect arch-segregationist George Wallace. Despite discrimination and limited job opportunities, Holmes and Brown’s anticommunism let them forge lucrative and interesting professional careers – something rare for working-class Black women of the 1960s.
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