New Year's greetings card with a photograph of the Patterson family: Louise, left, her husband, William "Pat", and their daughter, Mary-Lou. The Pattersons sent this card to Charlotta Bass, publisher of the California Eagle. The card contains a poem by Langston Hughes: "Give us peace accepting every challenge/The challenge of the poor, the black, of all denied/The challenge of the vast colonial world/That long has had so little justice by its side." William Patterson was one of the most prominent African-American civil rights and Communist leaders. An attorney, Patterson in the 1920s defended Sacco and Vanzetti, anarchists executed for murder and robbery. He joined the Communist Party in 1927, and as executive director of the Party's International Labor Defense defended the "Scottsboro Boys" nine young African-Americans falsely accused of raping two white women. In the 1940s Patterson was national executive director of the Civil Rights Congress, which during its existence from 1946-56 fought and obtained numerous civil liberties rulings.
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