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Theresa C. Lynch

writer and activist, was born in Trenton, New Jersey, the second of three sons of Elizabeth Ernestine Bowman Washington. According to one of Washington's brothers, when he was young, his mother “cleaned white women's houses” (personal communication). Later in his life, she was a file clerk for the New Jersey Department of Labor and Industry. Nothing is known of his father, who was not present in Washington's life. In 1963 his mother married Cleveland Lewis and took his last name.

After graduating in 1957 from Hamilton High School West in Trenton and serving in the Ninety-seventh Signal Company, first in Germany and then in Vietnam, Washington became active in the civil rights, antipoverty, and antiwar movements of the 1960s and early 1970s. He became friends with the activists Paul Krassner, Abbie Hoffman, Phil Ochs, and Jerry Rubin and he was considered the first black ...