The third Black History Month highlight is Thyra J. Edwards (1897 – 1953)
Thyra J. Edwards was a world lecturer, journalist, labor organizer, women’s rights advocate, and civil rights activist. She was highly respected by her peers and throughout the community where she provided services. Edwards was often heralded as “one of the most outstanding Black women in the world.”
Edwards worked with an Unemployed Council to actively protest apartment evictions. She was attracted by their ability to build alliances with other groups to stop the evictions, and by their position on race and labor, emphasizing Black and white unity.
By the end of World War II she was the executive director of the Congress of American Women.
Throughout her life, Thyra Edwards maintained an interest in the condition of oppressed working-class people worldwide. Concerned also with the plight of women and children, in 1953 Edwards organized the first Jewish child care program in Rome to assist children who had been victims of the Holocaust. Thank you Thyra for advocating for people’s rights and working to keep people housed!