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Examines the final text of the "Resolution on the Negro Question"

American Communism and Black Americans

A Documentary History, 1930-1934, Volume 2

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Philip S. Foner and Herbert Shapiro

The second volume in this series continues the story begun in Volume 1: the history of black Americans and their struggle for equality.

The first volume documented the evolution of the Communist Party of the United States and its relationship with black Americans during the first decade of the Party’s existence. Taking up the story in 1930, and again relying mainly on primary sources, Volume 2 examines the final text of the "Resolution on the Negro Question." The resolution states that racism infected the American Communist Party and was reflected in its work, and to combat it, the Party urged vigorous self-criticism together with systematic education on the sources of racism. The resolution further declared that white workers must "show by action, that they are fighting with the Negroes against all racial discrimination and persecution." Without such a constant struggle, the resolution continued, the Black workers would not be drawn to the Party.

Unlike previous groups in the American Left (especially the Socialists). the Communist Party viewed "the Negro question" as a national question, and defined the Party’s role as fighting for "proletarian hegemony" within a broad Black liberation movement that included other political tendencies. This work seeks to substantiate the view that the significant impact of communism in combating racism and supporting Black Liberation cannot be ignored by any serious student of United States history and society.

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Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Party Policy: Equal Rights and Self-Determination
2. Against White Chauvinism
3. The Sharecroppers Union
4. Scottsboro
5. Angelo Herndon
Notes
Index

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About the Author(s)

Philip S. Foner is Professor Emeritus of History at Lincoln University.

Herbert Shapiro is Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati.

Subject Categories

American Studies
African American Studies

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