Senior Chicago Communist Party USA member Bea Lumpkin, and her late husband and comrade Frank Lumpkin were longtime supporters and a fans of Barack Obama.
Obama was very close, for many years, to the far left side of Chicago politics – where the Lumpkins were major players.
As a friend, supporter and campaigner for pro-communist Chicago mayor Harold Washington (1983-87), Lumpkin credits the Washington campaigns and the communist/labor/leftist Democrat/Black/Latino alliances they forged, with blazing the way for an Obama presidency.
Sadly, when Washington died in office, the Democratic Party hacks crept back into power. The movement around Harold had not had time to jell into an organization with staying power. Still, the lessons of that campaign, with its spirit of African American, Latino and labor unity, took deep root in Chicago. Those roots nourished the spectacular rise of a new voice for people’s unity, Barack Obama. Since then, Obama’s strong voice has brought the message of unity to every corner of the country.
The Lumpkins and their comrades in the Chicago Communist Party, aided and supported Obama right through his career.
From Bea Lumpkin’s book “Joy in the Struggle,” pages 244 to 248:
I am sure that Frank and I met Obama in the ’80s. That’s when he was working on pollution problems at the Altgeld Gardens public housing. The site was close to the steel mills, and Frank was active on similar pollution issues. We certainly knew the community people with whom Obama was working. But I cannot say that we knew the Obama name then. There were two reasons for that. Both Frank and I have a hard time remembering names. More important, was Obama’s style. He pushed the community people forward and stayed out of the limelight himself. After Obama became our state senator in 1996, we knew his name, and I am sure he knew ours.
The Lumpkins were also close to Alice Palmer, the long time Communist Party ally and high ranking Soviet front official, who employed Obama as her chief of staff and gave Obama his first job in politics.