A series on some Chicago people, dead and alive, who are playing important roles in how the average Chicagoan is living his or her life, for better or for worse.
Meet Frank Marshall Davis (1905-1987)
Davis, a writer and poet and political activist, is a man some say whose ideas and special relationship with President Barack Obama, are the bedrock upon the Chicago style of politics now practiced in Washington DC. Davis is credited by some as being the man who helped form Obama's ideas of self and society, as he is the famous "Frank" the mentor in the President's autobiography, "Dreams From My Father".
Davis was a journalism graduate of Kansas State University and began writing for black papers early in his career.
In the 1930's, the Communist Party USA was looking to recruit journalists to write about favorable stories about the Soviet Union, and one of those writers who eagerly signed on was Davis.
Davis, a member of the Communist Party USA, later became editor of the Communist Party Newsletter, The Chicago Star, where he wrote a column, among other duties. While at the Chicago Star, Davis associated with the late Vernon Jarrett, father of now close advisor, Valerie Jarrett. Also part of the Communist Party orbit in the 1930's and 1940's was father and son, David Cantor. David Cantor would later go on to mentor David Axelrod and help him get a job at a major Chicago newspaper.
Davis moved from Chicago to Atlanta to Chicago and finally to Hawaii.
You might hear more about Frank Marshall Davis in the upcoming election, as President Obama's opponents will try to connect the dots with Davis and the Communist Party and Obama and his seemingly unapologetic anti-capitalist position.
President Obama was introduced to "Frank" at about age ten by his mother, who thought he needed a strong black man as a role model, as his own father was not available.
More about Davis is coming to light, as several books have been published, there are even questions swirling around as to whether Davis was, indeed, President Obama's blood father. That one I will leave for the tabloids, which, by the way, would never print such a rumor out of political correctness. I will say that Davis, whether blood with Barack Obama or not, still infused in the young man his ideas of social justice and his views on American society as a whole.
Meet Frank Marshall Davis, proud Communist, mentor of a future president, and, some might say, creator of the Chicago style of politics. Would we have an alderman refusing a building permit to a corporation based on the owners religious views, and a mayor who supports the same, if it were not for Davis?
Would Obama have made his impromptu remark about small business owners "not building it" had it not been for the dreams of this father figure in his life?
This is the first time that a president of the United States had a Communist mentor. Are we then surprised at Obama's actions and thoughts, not to mention Valary Jarrett's and David Axelrod's?
Like him or not, Frank Marshall Davis, long deceased, is now one of those dead black men who are influencing your life in countless ways.