Louise Thompson Patterson
|Louise Alone Thompson Patterson|
|Born||Louise Alone Thompson
September 9, 1901
|Died||August 27, 1999
Amsterdam Nursing Home
New York City
|Known for||Harlem Renaissance|
William L. Patterson
Louise Alone Thompson Patterson (September 9, 1901 – August 27, 1999) was an American social activist and college professor.
She moved to New York to the burgeoning artistic community in Harlem. When she first went to New York, she pursued social work, but eventually became a central figure in the literary movement. She had a short marriage to the writer Wallace Thurman, who she said was gay but refused to acknowledge it.
Though Thompson organized a number of protests and opened one of the premiere Harlem salons, she became best known for her close friendship with the author Langston Hughes. Both admired the Soviet system of government and organized a group of twenty-two Harlem writers, artists, and intellectuals to create a film about discrimination in the United States for a Soviet film company. After the project fell through due to lack of funding, Thompson and Hughes returned to the United States to found the Harlem Suitcase Theater, which presented plays written by Hughes and other black writers and featured all-black casts.
For the remainder of her life, Patterson continued to be active in political and social issues.
Marriage and family
Thompson married Thurman in August 1928 but their marriage broke up six months later when she discovered that he was homosexual.
She joined her husband in protesting the anti-Communist policies of Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. In the 1960s, she was involved in the Civil Rights Movement, though by that time her influence was greatly overshadowed by more notable figures.
- Goldstein, Richard (September 2, 1999). "Louise Patterson, 97, Is Dead. Figure in Harlem Renaissance.". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-31. "Louise Alone Thompson Patterson, an advocate of civil rights and leftist causes, a participant in the Harlem Renaissance and a longtime associate of one of its leading figures, the poet Langston Hughes, died on Friday at the Amsterdam Nursing Home in Manhattan. She was 97."
- Walter T. Howard, We Shall Be Free!: Black Communist Protests in Seven Voices. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2013.