Black Bolshevik: Autobiography of an Afro-American Communist

The autobiography of Harry Haywood, a long-time member of the Communist Party USA. We do not necessarily agree with Haywood's politics, but reproduce this for reference and discussion.

Submitted by Juan Conatz on June 5, 2015

libcom.org disclaimer

We feel Black Bolshevik is an influential work but we also have to note we have significant political differences with Harry Haywood. His political support for Stalin, even beyond Khrushchev's speech of Stalin's crimes in 1952, support for the USSR invasion of 1956 and prominent roll in the development of the "Anti-Revisionist Communist" movement i.e. Stalinist political groupings had a negative impact on the growth of the student left in the 1960s and the so-called New Communist Movement in the 1970s.

We should listen and learn from his work with African-American workers and sharecroppers in the US South. But in many ways those democratic organizations were in opposition to the top down organization of the Communist Party that Haywood worked for. They were encouraged to take up struggle, but at the same time (especially during World War Two and in regards to the USSR) give up their strike weapon and class autonomy in order to support the supposed Workers' Motherland of the USSR. (see Wartime Strikes by Marty Glaberman.

SYNOPSIS

A child of slaves, Harry Haywood became a pioneer theorist of Black Power and a leader of the communist movement in the thirties. Black Bolshevik is a dramatic and personal narrative of fifty years of the Black struggle and the American left, including first-hand accounts of the Chicago race riot of 1919, the defense of the Scotsboro Boys, organizing sharecroppers in the South, and the Spanish Civil War. Author of the classic 'Negro Liberation,' member of the Communist Party's Politburo and head of its Negro department in the thirties, Haywood was expelled as a dissident in the fifties. Amiri Baraka called this a 'powerful political journal... The sweep of history and event contained in this book will fascinate any serious reader.'

Comments

fnbrilll

8 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fnbrilll on July 11, 2015

pulled

Juan Conatz

8 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Juan Conatz on June 28, 2015

"We do not necessarily agree with Haywood's politics, but reproduce this for reference and discussion."

fnbrilll

8 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fnbrilll on July 11, 2015

pulled

Juan Conatz

8 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Juan Conatz on June 28, 2015

You mean like something more substantive? An article, a more lengthy critical intro?

fnbrilll

8 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fnbrilll on July 11, 2015

pulled

Juan Conatz

8 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Juan Conatz on July 5, 2015

fnbrilll, that sounds great. I agree that its worth having a disclaimer. If you have anything to add to that, go ahead, otherwise, I can just add that to the description.

fnbrilll

8 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fnbrilll on July 11, 2015

pulled

syndicalist

8 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by syndicalist on August 27, 2015

Against Bourgeois-Liberal Distortions of Leninism on the Negro Question in the United States... by Harry Haywood
The Communist, August 1930, pp. 694-712 - PDF
http://www.unz.org/Pub/Communist-1930aug-00694

The Struggle for the Leninist Position on the Negro Question in the U.S.A.
by Harry Haywood
The Communist, September 1933, pp. 888-901 - PDF
http://www.unz.org/Pub/Communist-1933sep-00888?View=PDF