Main NI Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

The Militant, 28 September 1946

Kay O’Brien

Jarvis Johnson


From The Militant, Vol. X No. 39, 28 September 1946, p. 6.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Jarvis Johnson, ten-year-old son of Genora Dollinger and Kermit Johnson, died Sept. 15 in the Hurley Hospital in Flint, Michigan, from injuries received in a traffic accident.

Although he was only ten, “Joddy” had a revolutionary record to be proud of. He was the first child on the picket line in the famous General Motors sit-down strike of 1937, and from the time that he could walk and talk, he participated in his youthful way in many actions on behalf of the working class. Even the songs he sang, as he grew up, were revolutionary, workers’ songs.

The first time I met him, in June of 1943, he had invited himself up to our party headquarters in Detroit, where we were getting ready to “cover” an NAACP rally. Wrapping his brand new jump rope around his neck for safekeeping, he got right to work counting out bundles of literature, and then went along with us to the rally where he distributed as many Militants and sold as many pamphlets as any of the adult comrades.

Only a few months ago, he organized a group of his young neighborhood friends in Detroit to collect clothes for the European Workers Relief. So successfully did Joddy tell his story of the plight of workers’ children abroad, and so well did he organize his project, that over 700 pounds of clothing were collected within a few hours.

One of his last actions a few weeks ago before moving back to live in Flint was to distribute Socialist Workers Party leaflets at the gates of the Briggs Manufacturing Company in Detroit.

Joddy had hundreds of friends among Socialist Workers Party members and militant auto workers each of whom could add many, many details of his brave young record. We will miss him. Those of us who knew him will not forget his class consciousness, his enthusiasm for whatever was good for the workers, and his warm and vital budding personality.

Kay O’Brien, Detroit, Mich.

Top of page

Main Militant Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

Last updated on 20 June 2021