Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Mitchell, Charlene (1930–)

Mitchell joined the American Youth for Democracy at 13 in 1943, beginning a lifelong career of socialist activism. She led the effort to free Angela Davis, rejuvenated the Communist Party USA in the 1960s and ran as its candidate for president in 1968, the first black woman to do so. She advocated with the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, supported African liberation movements, and worked globally for civil rights. She ran unsuccessfully for Senate against Daniel Moynihan in 1988, and served as an official international observer in the 1994 postapartheid South African elections.