We are excited to announce that UNLADYLIKE2020 has received a Planning Grant from South Carolina Humanities, a not-for-profit organization inspiring, engaging and enriching South Carolinians with programs on literature, history, culture and heritage. The grant will support the research and development phase of our short about Charlotta Spears Bass, one of the first African American women to own and operate a newspaper in the United States.
Bass followed earlier decades of ‘muckracking’ or reform-minded journalism, publishing the California Eagle in Los Angeles from 1912 until 1951, at a time when newsrooms were male-dominated and few white journalists focused on issues of importance to African Americans. In its pages, she addressed the racism of D.W. Griffith's film The Birth of A Nation, the Ku Klux Klan, LA’s discriminatory hiring practices, police brutality, and restrictive housing covenants. Her uncompromising stance against racial injustice resulted in numerous death threats. After retiring from the newspaper industry, Bass went into politics and was the first African American woman to run for Vice President of the U.S., on the Progressive party ticket in 1952.
We’re excited to develop this short on Bass’ story. Thank you, South Carolina Humanities, for supporting this important work!