Timeline of Bass's Major Civil Right Activities
1915: Ignited a protest over D.W. Griffith's film
Birth of a Nation, which glorified the Ku Klux Klan and
depicted Blacks in a very racist way.
1917: Persuaded the Los Angeles County (General)
Hospital to hire black women for the first time.
1918: Tried to join the all-white Typographical
Union but was denied membership. This was an early indication of
her commitment to the integration of labor unions.
1920-1921: Charter member of the local division
of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA),
serving as president and state organizer; active in the Pacific
Coast Negro Improvement Association after it broke from UNIA in
1920-1951: Reported on Ku Klux Klan activities
and confronted Klan leadership in Los Angeles; sued by the Klan
in 1925 for libel, winning the case.
1925-1926: Sued a restaurant for refusing her
and her companions service.
1930: Organized the formation of the Industrial
Council, established to combat discrimination and to encourage business
on Central Avenue, Los Angeles' black business district, and is
1931-1950: Used the Eagle to call for
an end to racial restrictive covenants that barred blacks from living
in certain neighborhoods and worked with activists and other groups
to promote a legal challenge and assist black homeowners.
1933-1936: Led the campaign to persuade the Southern
California Telephone Company to hire Blacks.
1941: Worked with members of the Negro Victory
Committee to challenge discrimination in Southern California's defense
1941-1943: Active in the "Double Victory" movement
that promoted victory against fascism in Europe during World War
II and victory at home against racism.
mid-1940s to mid-1950s: Stood up for civil liberties as the California Legislature's Joint
Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities investigated
allegations of "subversive" activities and the "threat" of Communism.
1945: Ran for Los Angeles 7th District City Council
1947: Helped to found the Independent Progressive
Party of California, part of the national Progressive Party, a third
party movement, and served on the IPP executive board.
1948: Campaigned for and helped nominate Henry
Wallace, the national Progressive Party candidate for president
of the United States.
1950: Delegate to the Defenders of the Peace Committee
of the Second World Peace Congress, meeting in Prague, Czechoslovakia.
1950: Ran for representative of the California
14th Congressional District in Los Angeles on the Progressive Party
1952: Ran for vice president of the United States
on the Progressive Party ticket, with running mate Vincent Hallinan
as presidential candidate.