Jonnie Lumpkin Ellis, known by her adopted name of “Pat,” died Aug. 29 in Chicago. Jonnie was one of 10 children. Her parents, Hattie and Elmo Lumpkin, raised their children to reject racism and ideas of “racial inferiority.” That took a lot of courage in the 1920s, since they lived in the orange groves of Orlando, Fla. Jonnie wanted to “change the system” but until she met the Communist Party, she was fighting alone.
The Congressional Record from April 6-7, 1971, contains testimony taken in Detroit from Vietnam veterans. That testimony is the subject of “Winter Soldier,” a documentary that will get a one-week showing at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago and in more than 20 theaters across the U.S.