By Walter T. Howard
Black Communists converse on Scottsboro, an account of a overlooked bankruptcy within the tale of the Scottsboro saga, offers voice to a phase of the African American group that has frequently been missed or distorted: black Communists.
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Extra info for Black Communists Speak on Scottsboro: A Documentary History
Case,” 1931, Library of Congress, NAACP Papers, Scottsboro Series, Microfilm Part 6. 24. In his autobiography, Harry Haywood relates that he, Sol Harper, and B. D. Amis were the three black Communists who went to Earl Browder’s office to initiate the CPUSA’s Scottsboro campaign. Haywood, Black Bolshevik, 360–61. 25. Telegram from Executive Committee of the LSNR to Governor B. M. Miller, April 9, 1931; Negro Department Central Committee to LSNR Affiliates, April 9, 1931; Editor of The Liberator to Negro Editors, April 21, 1931, CPUSA Papers, Moscow, Fond 515-1-2222, 2339; Interview of B.
See also, Helene Carrere d’Encausse, The Great Challenge, Nationalities and the Bolshevik State, 1917–1930 (New York: Holmes & Meier, 1991). 16. Harvey Klehr and William Tompson, “Self-Determination in the Black Belt: Origins of a Communist Policy,” Labor History 30 (Summer 1989), 354–66. 17. Michael Rywkin, “Black Americans: A Race or Nationality? Some Communist Viewpoints,” Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism 3, no. 1 (1975), 55–77. 18. Tony Thomas, “Black Nationalism and Confused Marxists,” Black Scholar 4, no.
The state of Alabama announced the release of Roy Wright, Olen Montgomery, Eugene Williams, and Willie Roberson. Authorities returned the others to prison. 51 It was African American Communist Benjamin Davis who took up the task in the second half of the 1930s of following through on the Party’s participation in the Scottsboro case. He coordinated the meeting of the Scottsboro mothers and the four released youths in Harlem in July 1937. Davis also monitored and reported on the continuing legal struggle for the Scottsboro defendants still in Alabama prisons.