Caroline Ballin

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Caroline Collier Ballin or Carole Collier (born November 28, 1919 in Oregon; died September 28, 2003 in Largo, Florida) was a social activist and novelist who organized in Birmingham on behalf of the Young Communist League and the Communist Party USA during the 1930s and for the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the 1940s.

Collier, a descendant of William Hooper, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was born in Oregon and, after a stay in Berkeley where her mother taught briefly, moved with her family to Alabama. While still young she met Hosea Hudson and became involved in the efforts of the Communist Party to organize African Americans and laboring whites to unite against their capitalist oppressors. In addition to campaigning for labor rights, she worked to end the practice of lynching and to reverse the rise of fascists like Adolf Hitler on the world stage.

While in Alabama, Collier married University of Alabama student Richard Ballin. They had three children (Robin, Andrew and Jon) and later divorced. After moving to New York, Ballin joined the staff of The Worker, a daily newspaper published by the Communist Party USA. She mainly covered Civil Rights issues for the paper. While there she married CPUSA leader Claude Lightfoot, but that marriage also ended in divorce.

In the mid-1970s Ballin was assigned to Florida as a Communist organizer. She co-founded the Tampa chapter of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and enlisted the participation of labor unions in St Petersburg's Martin Luther King, Jr parade. She was active in political campaigns against George W. Bush in 2000 and Florida Governor Jeb Bush in 2002, and also against America's preemptive military attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Publications

  • Ballin, Caroline (1966) Search for Freedom: A Novel of the South. New York, NY: Citadel Press
  • Collier, Carole (2002) Jeremiah. Self-published with Professional Press

References

  • "Carole Collier - Florida freedom fighter is mourned." (October 25, 2003) People's Weekly World