Black Socialist Party Candidates of New York, 1920 from The Messenger. Vol. 2 No. 10. November, 1920.
For the first time in its history, the Socialist Party ran a slate of Black candidates in New York State’s November, 1920 elections. Five Black Socialists ran, including The Messengers’ coeditors A. Philip Randolph and Chandler Owen. Also put forward was Grace Campbell, “the first colored woman to be named for a public office on a regular party ticket in the United States of America,” as were trade unionists W.B. Williams and Frank Porec. Portraits below.
Chandler Owen, Candidate for Assembly from the 21st Assembly district is coeditor of the MESSENGER magazine, President of the National Association for the Promotion of Labor Unionism among Negroes, and one of the founders of the Friends of Negro Freedom.
W.B. Williams is candidate for Assembly from the 5th Assembly district. He is the only Negro in the Socialist Branch which nominated him. He is also a prominent member of the Scenic Artists’ Union.
Miss Grace Campbell is candidate for Assembly from the 19th Assembly district. She is the first colored woman to be named for a public office on a regular party ticket in the United States of America. She is well known for her pioneer social service work for colored girls.
Frank Porec is candidate for State Senator from the 18th Senatorial district. He is the first Negro to be named for this office in New York on a party ticket. He is also prominent in labor union circles.
A. Philip Randolph is a candidate for Comptroller for the State of New York. He is the first Negro to be nominated for the fourth highest office on a state ticket of a regular party since Reconstruction Days. He is coeditor of the MESSENGER magazine, Secretary-Treasurer of the National Association For the Promotion Of Labor Unionism among Negroes, and one of the founders of the Friends of Negro Freedom.
The Messenger was founded and published in New York City by A. Phillip Randolph and Chandler Owen in 1917 after they both joined the Socialist Party of America. The Messenger opposed World War I, conscription and supported the Bolshevik Revolution, though it remained loyal to the Socialist Party when the left split in 1919. It sought to promote a labor-orientated Black leadership, “New Crowd Negroes,” as explicitly opposed to the positions of both WEB DuBois and Booker T Washington at the time. Both Owen and Randolph were arrested under the Espionage Act in an attempt to disrupt The Messenger. Eventually, The Messenger became less political and more trade union focused. After the departure of and Owen, the focus again shifted to arts and culture. The Messenger ceased publishing in 1928. Its early issues contain invaluable articles on the early Black left.
PDF of full issue: https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/messenger/v2nRN-10-nov-1920-Messenger.pdf