has developed graduate research projects in history and social studies at Cornell University's Africana Studies Center. He also lectures at major universities throughout the country.
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Blacks and Reds
Race and Class in Conflict, 1919-1990
In this important new study, Hutchinson examines in detail the
American Communist party's largely unsuccessful effort to win the
allegiance black Americans in the 20th century. From the time of its
creation in 1919, Hutchinson argues, the party sought to recruit
African Americans, initially by arguing that Marxist ideology best
served their interests; further, Communist ideologues declared that
injustices visited upon African Americans resulted from economic and
class antagonism, not racial bigotry. But as Hutchinson clearly
demonstrates, tensions between blacks and "Reds" increased as time
passed and as a African American leaders such as W.E.B. DuBois, James
Weldon Johnson, and Kelley Miller made it clear that they would not
permit African American interests and agendas to become subservient
to party ideology.
While Communism may have appealed to some, Hutchinson shows that most
blacks were not interested in the party, its penchant for theoretical
abstraction, or its call for proletarian revolt. He also dispels the
widely held misconception that 20th century black political movements
were largely creations of Communist initiatives. Such notions, he
argues, are not only wrong, but serve as impediments to understanding
African American organizations in the context of their unique and
historically black identity.
Notes, bibliography, indexWorld
338 pp., 6.00" x 9.00", February 1995