African American History from the Depression to after the Second World War

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NY Times: Turning truth on its head—The Scottsboro case
People's Weekly World, 15 February 1997. In the '30s, when few were willing to fight for justice where Blacks were involved, the US Communist party stepped forward and saved the lives of the nine ‘Scottsboro Boys’ who were falsely accused of raping a white woman in Alabama.
The Indispensable Ally: Black Workers and the Formation of the CIO
By Bill Fletcher Jr. and Peter Agard, The Dispatcher, February 2000. The industrial union movement, known at the time as the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), transformed the U.S. labor movement. In the process of this transformation Black workers left their mark.
Reflections on Black History: Black Communists in the 1930s
By Thomas C. Fleming, Sun-Reporter, 10 January 1999. Concerning the Black press in the 1930s, including the leading Black Communists associated with it.
Harry Haywood [Centennial 1898-1998]. A fighter for Black liberation, revolution and socialism
By The African Peoples Commission, Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO). Harry Haywood's greatest contribution was his central role in developing a theoretical understanding of the Black nation in the United States.
Afro-Americans and radical politics
By Louis Proyect, 12 January 1999. The Messenger magazine, and the group of Afro-American socialists who conducted and supported it in Harlem, was the only magazine of Scientific Radicalism in the world published by Negroes.
‘Fight or be slaves!’
By Albert Lannon. C. L. Dellums became a pacific coast vice president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in 1928, and went on to become a major figure in Oakland's African American Community, heading the NAACP and bringing its support to the 1946 Oakland General Strike.
CLR James and Malcolm X
By Louis Proyect, 4 January 1999. C. L. R. James disagreed with the Workers Party because he advocated an independent Black nationalist struggle rather than submersion within a broader white white-led progressivism.
Reflections on Black History: The Great Strike of 1934
By Thomas C. Fleming, Sun Reporter. Harry Bridges and John L. Lewis, the head of the International Miner's Union, felt that the union movement must embrace Black workers. The west coast longshoreman strike, which mushroomed into a general strike in San Francisco and Oakland, resulted in Blacks being welcomed into the union in exchange.
Syphilis ‘Study’ On Blacks Was Atrocity
Susan Lamont, the Militant. Review of a book on the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. From 1932–72 Black sharecroppers and day laborers were victims in a federally-financed racist study that withheld treatment of the deadly disease because people of color have bad blood.
Louise Patterson dies at 97
Peopleŝs Weekly World, 7 September 1999. Louise Patterson, who worked with Paul Robeson, Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, her husband William L. Patterson and other great leaders during a lifetime of struggle for African American equality and socialism died in New York Aug. 27, age 97.
Louise T. Patterson; Last Survivor of Harlem Renaissance
By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times. Louise Thompson Patterson, a social activist who was the last remaining survivor of the cultural movement known as the Harlem Renaissance and a longtime associate of poet and playwright Langston Hughes, died Aug. 27 1999, in New York.
Ella J. Baker: Remember a life well lived
By Barbara Ransby, 16 December 2003. Ella Josephine Baker was one of the most influential people in the crusade for racial justice in America. For more than 50 years, she traveled the breadth of this country organizing, protesting and advocating for social justice. Her main concern was the plight of blacks, whose rights, she argued, were the litmus test for American democracy.
African Americans, Culture and Communism (Part 1): National Liberation and Socialism
By Alan Wald, Against the Current, January/February 2000. The first part focuses on a review of The Cry Was Unity: Communists and African Americans, 1917-1936 by Mark Solomon.
Remembering Hosea Hudson
By Bryn Lloyd-Bollard, People's Weekly World, 30 July 2005. Although his legacy remains largely uncelebrated, his work as a Black union leader and Communist organizer was extremely important.
Former Tuskegee Airman, POW tells life story at senior center
By Shaun Byron, The Romeo Observer, 1 February 2006. Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson is among the surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen, the country's first black combat pilots. His experiences have recently been put into a book, called “Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free: The Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman and POW.”
African Americans, Culture and Communism (Part 2): National Liberation and Socialism
By Alan Wald, Against the Current, May/June 2000. A review of four books. From the early 1920s until the late 1950s, the U.S. Communist movement was a significant pole of attraction in African-American political and cultural life.
Claudia Jones: A life in exile
By Marika Sherwood, 1 April 1999. Born in Trinidad in 1915, Claudia Jone's family moved to Harlem, New York, where the young Claudia soon became involved with local Communist politics. In the immediate postwar years, Jones was a leading political figure of the left, still remembered for the rousing orations she gave to thousands in Madison Square Garden, when she was imprisoned despite ill-health during the McCarthy witchhunts.
Thurgood Marshall and the FBI
By IWB, World Socialist Web Site, 16 December 1996. Former NAACP leader Thurgood Marshall regularly provided information to the FBI. The political role played and social interests served by the NAACP, both past and present. Marshall was opposed, at least initially, to the mass upsurge of workers against segregation.
Review of Race Against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, 1937–1957 by Penny M. Von Eschen
By Clarence Lang, 12 March 2001. In Race Against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, 1937–1957, historian Penny M. Von Eschen contributes toward understanding the intersections among pan-Africanism, Afro-American politics, and the U.S. Cold War front during this period.
Marvel Cooke Dies at 99
By Richard Pearson, Washington Post, 2 December 2000. Marvel Cooke, 99, a former New York journalist who also was a noted labor and political and civil rights activist. She began her adult life at the tail end of the Harlem Renaissance. Along the way, she wrote about and socialized and worked with many of the leading political and artistic figures of her age.