She was the daughter of parents who were most likely of mixed Mexican, Native American and African American ancestry. Parsons did not claim any African ancestry.
In 1871 she married Albert Parsons and settled in Chicago where their interracial relationship was better tolerated.
Parsons and her husband worked on behalf of the dispossessed including people of color and the homeless. They advocated actively for the eight-hour day which ultimately led to Albert Parsons’ arrest and hanging on charges that he had conspired causing the Haymarket Riot in 1887.
Parsons wrote widely in journals about anarchist principles in various journals. She helped found the Industrial Workers of the World in 1905. Parsons’ activism continued well into her 80s. She died in a house fire in 1942.-Heidi Durrow
Mixed Experience History Month is the annual blog post series created by The New York Times best-selling author Heidi Durrow celebrating the history of the Mixed experience. Established in 2007, Mixed Experience History Month is an effort to highlight the long history of folks and events involved in the Mixed experience. Please look for archived profiles of people, places and events of the Mixed experience every weekday of May at Lightskinned-ed Girl, the blog! Thanks for reading. And check out some of the previous year’s profiles: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. Copyright 2015