Josh Healey

Being a communist in America has never been all that easy. But being a communist during the McCarthy era was a whole different kind of difficult. Josh Healey’s grandmother knew that all too well. She was the head of the Los Angeles Communist Party for fourteen years (1948-62) and was not only arrested and imprisoned more than your average elderly woman, but won cases in the Supreme Court over her treatment. Three separate times.

She also helped raised Josh and, being that she was affectionately referred to as Comrade Grannie, that meant being raised sympathetic to the working class. In this Learning Curve segment, Josh tells us what it’s like protesting at the one place a ten-year old would never want to picket and how it shaped his political beliefs going forward.

Josh Healey is an award-winning writer, performer, and creative activist. Fusing innovating storytelling with subversive humor and a rebel’s politics, Healey has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and is a regular performer on NPR’s Snap Judgment. He has performed and led workshops at UC-Berkeley, Harvard, University of Illinois, and over 200 colleges, high schools, and conferences across the country.