Jarvis Tyner was born in July 1941 in the Mill Creek community of West Philadelphia. He was the second child born to Jarvis Sr. and Beatrice Tyner.
Jarvis attended West Philadelphia High School graduating in 1959. He started his work life in various industrial jobs in Philadelphia. He was an active member of the Amalgamated Lithographers Union and later the Teamsters Union when he worked in a furniture factory that helped to organize.
As a young activist in civil rights, peace and justice movement, Tyner worked with and eventually joined the Communist Party USA in 1961. He was a founding member of the W.E.B. DuBois Clubs of America in 1964. In 1967 he was elected National Chairperson and moved to New York to head up that organization.
In 1970 he was elected the founding chairperson of the Young Workers Liberation League, an amalgamation of the DuBois Clubs, Communist Party, and independent socialist youth. After three years in that capacity Tyner was elected chair of the New York District of the Communist Party. He served in that position until 1991.
As a veteran member of the National Political Bureau and the Central Committee of the Party in 1991, he was elected as a National Vice Chairman and later National Executive Vice Chairperson of the CPUSA.
Jarvis has a long history in the struggle for Civil Rights. He has been an active participant in the movement since the early sixties. In 1998 he was a founding member of the Black Radical Congress (BRC) and is currently the Chairperson of the NY BRC. He has written extensively on the subject of the struggle against racism, especially its relationship to working class liberation and the struggle against US imperialism, for peace, socialism, and independent political action. In 1976 Tyner ran for Vice President of the U.S. with Party Chairman Gus Hall on the Communist Party line. Their theme was, “Put Two Workers in the White House.”
Jarvis was active in the broad movement to defeat Donald Trump and is a strong advocate of continuing that broad movement into 2017 and beyond. Jarvis has authored numerous articles and pamphlets on issues of civil rights, peace, and working class struggles, the latest being “Black Lives Matter.” He wrote a preface to the new editions of William L. Patterson’s We Charge Genocide. He also writes for the People’s World, and the Communist Party USA websites. You can also find Jarvis on radio and television, speaking nationally and internationally.
Jarvis resides in the Inwood section of Manhattan with his wife Lydia and is the father of four adult children Keith (RIP), Colby, Alia, and Mike, and two grandchildren Journey and Lillieth.
Jarvis Tyner remarks to the Better World Awards as Lifetime Achievement Awardee on December 11th, 2016