Frank Fried (1927-2015)

Quinn, Patrick M.
Date Written:  2015-03-01
Publisher:  Against the Current
Year Published:  2015
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20941

Frank Fried, a revolutionary U.S. socialist, passed away on January 13, 2015.



Frank and the other party members became active in various progressive struggles in Chicago, including the effort to end segregation at the "White City" amusement park on the city's South Side. They played a central role in the "Hickman case," a long-forgotten struggle that only recently was rescued from the mists of history by Joe Allen in his book People Wasn't Made to Burn (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2011).

Along with Milt Zaslow, SWP members Leon Despres (later a famous member of the Chicago City County), Mike Myer, Carl Schier, the novelist Willard Motley and the actress Tallulah Bankhead, Frank played a key role in the fight to free James Hickman, an African American who had been convicted of murdering his landlord after Hickman's family had been burned to death in 1947 when his apartment was destroyed in a fire started by the landlord.

Joe Allen begins: "'I want you to write about the Hickman case,' Frank Fried told me, gripping his cane with one hand and gesturing with the other. 'It was the best thing we ever did and nobody knows about it.'"

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