This post will be brief: following our conversations, I’m writing now to point out the ways in which the Jefferson School regularly appears in the details of our readings. This time, Claudia Jones mentions that it is the site where more than 600 women and men learned about Marxism and the Woman Question, her understanding of the ways in which patriarchal capitalism exploits women, rendering them dependent on men; and, particularly how the triply oppressed status of black women is a barometer for the status of all women.
This mention not only signals a critical need to scholarly excavations of the work of the Jefferson School–which features so prominently in the careers of so many blacklisted authors, artists, and activists, but also in the ways in which it points to a long, obscured history of the radical pedagogy in the service of social justice. The Jefferson School was a school–an important location for education and social change. In this regard, its fascinating to know that the ways in which the mainstream (vis a vis the logics of the Brown decision) and the left (vis a vis Jones and Alice Childress) understood that education is absolutely crucial to social engagement. Thinking inspires action; the battle for “hearts and minds” was in full swing.