LEMBRANDO UM COMUNISTA AMERICANO DE ORIGEM LUSÓFONA : EDWARD S. TEIXEIRA

(Reproduzido de ESC, 1ª versão)

Reproduz-se um artigo necrológico “Lifelong Communist was proud of his ties to Whaling City “, The Standard-Times , 26/8/2004, sobre o comunista americano Edward S. Teixeira, oriundo de Cabo Verde e que viveu a sua juventude na comunidade emigrante lusofona de New Bedford.

A necrologia do Boston Globe está aqui.

Lifelong Communist was proud of his ties to Whaling City
By AARON NICODEMUS, Standard-Times staff writer

BOSTON — Edward S. Teixeira, a New Bedford native who was blacklisted in the 1950s and 1960s for his “un-American activities,” and later ran for state representative in Boston as a Communist, has died. He was 72.
A lifelong member of the Communist Party who was once chief organizer for the party’s New England region, Mr. Teixeira also managed the Frederick Douglass bookstore in Boston for nearly 10 years, and successfully fought a state law that barred Communists from running for state office.
Being named a Communist by a federal Subversive Activities Control Board in 1964 cost him his job and his Social Security benefits. A few years later, his bookstore was bombed for selling Marxist literature.
Mr. Teixeira, a native of Cape Verde, grew up in New Bedford’s South End. He left for Boston as a youth, but his family said he often returned to New Bedford and was proud of his place of birth.
“He loved New Bedford, he was so proud of his Cape Verdean heritage,” said his widow, Tillyruth Teixeira. “He had very vivid memories of his great-grandfather, who was a whaler in New Bedford, who had lost two of his fingers to a harpoon.” She said he regularly returned to the city from his adopted hometown of Boston for family reunions and Portuguese festivals.
His daughter, Juliet Teixeira, said her father never let the controversy surrounding his political views dissuade him from being politically active.
“It took a lot of courage for him to stand up for his convictions, even if they clashed with what other people believed,” she said. “He taught his children that if you see something wrong, speak up. He also taught us that you won’t always be popular when you do.”
Mr. Teixeira left for Boston as a youth, after he was fired at his job at Aerovox Inc. because he attempted to organize a union among workers, his widow said.
But before he left, he signed up with the Communist Party in New Bedford, according to Mrs. Teixeira. It would be a defining decision in his life.
After arriving in Boston, Mr. Teixeira was involved in many community struggles, including school desegregation and political campaigns for such black politicians as Mel King and John O’Bryant. He was active in working to increase and maintain affordable housing in Boston.
But it was his lifelong membership in the U.S Communist Party that would earn him notoriety. In the mid-1950s, Mr. and Mrs. Teixeira were called before the state un-American Activities Committee because they were Communists. They were young at the time, and the charges were dismissed.
In 1964, though, under the federal McCarron Act, Mr. Teixeira was forced to register as member of the Communist Party.
As a result of the extensive news coverage of the case, Mr. Teixeira lost his job with a now-defunct manufacturer of electric motors. The Social Security Administration also refused to offer him any benefits, and Mrs. Teixeira was forced to turn her part-time job into a full-time one.
Mr. Teixeira became a full-time activist with the Communist Party, and was the chief organizer for the New England district, which included all six New England states except Connecticut.
In 1967, Mr. Teixeira opened up the Frederick Douglass bookstore on Massachusetts Avenue in Boston. It specialized in African-American history and culture, as well as Marxist titles. The store, which became a hangout for African-American intellectuals and Communist activists, was bombed. The store was not heavily damaged, but Mr. Teixeira decided to move it to Dudley Station in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood. His store would become instrumental in providing information for biographies and finding books on African-American studies for the New Bedford Public Library and the Harvard University School of Public Health.
When he attempted to run for state representative in 1972, Mr. Teixeira first had to confront a 1951 state law that barred Communists from seeking state office. The state high court ruled that Mr. Teixeira’s avowed communism was a declaration of political philosophy, not party status. He was allowed to run, and on the ballot, he was listed as Edward Teixeira, Communist.
Although health problems slowed him down in his later years, Mr. Teixeira continued to be an active member of the Mass. Senior Action Council and advocated on issues dealing with affordable housing and health care.
“People had a lot of respect for him,” said his daughter, Juliet.
His wife, Tillyruth, said her husband never wavered in his convictions. “He would say, ‘This is what I want to do. I’m going to fight the good fight,'” she said.

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