Notes on African-American History Since 1900



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1941-1943

Three million African American men register for the draft, one million African Americans in uniform in its armed forces.


One million African-Americans were in the armed forces of the U.S. during World War II and three million African-Americans men registered for the draft. In 1943 whites attacked African-Americans in Harlem and in Detroit. African-Americans fought back and riots breakout; in Detroit thirty-three are killed and three hundred wounded and the army was sent in to restore peace. African Americans fight in the “Battle of the Bulge;” Black Eagles (fighter unit) fly 400 missions, not losing one bomber.

Who was Harry Haywood?: Theory and Practice of a Black Bolshevik
1934-1954
For sixty years Harry Haywood was one of the most important black communist in America. Party leader, intellectual, political theorist, union organizer, author and committed revolutionary162. Harry Haywood was born in South Oklahoma in 1898, the youngest of three children. To understand Mr. Haywood’s world view one must understand the era into which he was born. This was the period of history known as ‘manifest destiny’. The United States of America sought to expand beyond the coast of the Pacific and Gulf. At the same time the Ku Klux Klan was resurging and the last of the black Reconstruction congressmen were exiting their offices. This struggle for equality did not begin with Haywood: his parents were slaves and his grandfather killed a Ku Klux Klansman.
A former slave and follower of Booker T. Washington’s theories, the elder Haywood, taught Harry the history of African Americans. This knowledge of self proved to be quite useful as tensions between whites and African Americans grew in Oklahoma. Harry Haywood served in the military and held various menial forms of employment. As an African American living in America, especially being male, Mr. Haywood grew angry and yet found revolutionary means to express this anger creatively.
Mr. Haywood joined the African Blood Brotherhood (ABB). This organization was founded in 1919 by a group of African American men with radical views on solutions to dilemma of the African American. One notable founder, Cyril Briggs, grew disgruntled with The Amsterdam News’ views and began his own leftist anti-war paper The Crusader as well as the ABB. After a short time Mr. Briggs left the ABB to join the Young Communist League. Mr. Haywood would soon follow and in 1925 did just this.
Joining these organizations was Mr. Haywood’s attempt to answer the questions of the nature of African American subjugation and its components of ghettos and second class citizenship. The situation of African Americans, he surmised, was a result of the incomplete efforts of the federal government to reconstruct the South. In effect to completely dismantle the system of white oppression and ogilopoly of land control, Haywood, feeling that racism was a front for the true issue of socio-economic dominance, believed that self-determination for African Americans could only be gained through an alliance with the masses of oppressed white workers. Haywood viewed Jim Crow laws as a means to keep African Americans docile and dependent while giving the equally oppressed poor white psychological benefit in the belief that they belonged to a superior race163
With this belief in alliance, it is not at all surprising to learn that Mr. Haywood rejected the philosophy of Marcus Garvey. Haywood favored the celebration of blackness, the discipline and self-reliance themes of Garveyism. On the other hand he totally rejected the ‘Back to Africa’ slogan and goal of Garvey’s movement. Garvey espoused that evilness was natural for whites. Haywood viewed these viewpoints as divisive and equally bigoted as the white chauvinist. Also, Mr. Haywood did not condone Garvey’s suggestion that African Americans price their labor lower than others or work as scabs during strikes.
For tactics of nationalistic movements, Haywood felt, would only further isolate African American and create more tension between the oppressed thus shifting focus from the real issue. While Haywood did not condone the separatist views of Garvey, neither did he condone the integrationist viewpoint of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He felt that the corporate elite profited from these organizations. Haywood questioned the true agenda of organization such as the NAACP as they were created, financed and controlled by wealthy whites. Furthermore, Mr. Haywood asserted that the actions of such organizations to uplift the black race were merely public relations vehicles.
While Harry Haywood found fault with organizations at both ends of the spectrum, so too did he find it with the Communist Party. Within the party Haywood found racist or perhaps paternalistic viewpoints. For example, it was fully accepted communist philosophy that all African Americans, being oppressed and having few differences in values or beliefs, shared the same goals of revolution164
Haywood joined the communist party in 1925 and was a member for 35 years. In 1926 he sojourned to Moscow to study in cadre training schools where he eventually supported the position that African Americans were an oppressed nation in the black belt South with the right to self determination.
In the early 1930’s Haywood went into Alabama where he organized 10,000 African Americans sharecroppers into the Alabama Sharecroppers Union. After several shootouts with landlords the union eventually dissolved. Haywood also worked with the Trade Union Unity League in organizing African American and white miners to struggle against brutal working conditions in western Pennsylvania mines165. Haywood worked with the LSNR (League of Struggle for Negro Rights) in leading demonstrations in regards to police brutality in Memphis, Tennessee. Forced to leave the South, Haywood helped organize Councils of the Unemployed in Chicago and New York. Haywood also worked with anti-war committee’s against fascist Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia leading demonstrations of 10,000 people and worked inside the National Negro Congress.
In 1936 Haywood ran as a candidate for the Communist Party in a Chicago congressional election. Haywood joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (An African American dominated brigade) that went to Spain to combat fascism on the battlefield. After the Spanish Republicans suffered defeat to the fascists Haywood returned to the United States. It was in this period that he was politically attacked and purged from Central Committee of the Communist Party. The Communist party dropped the “black belt” position and Haywood was in opposition of the position being dropped until he left the Communist Party in 1959.
Haywood discussed the fact that two dominant themes exist in Black movements: nationalism and refomist. The nationalist movements he felt came predominately from the “…small businessmen, the intelligentsia, ministers, professionals..”166. On the other end of the spectrum he felt that there was also the tendency of black movements to be compromising and assimilationist. Haywood viewed both philosophies as refomist as they both sought a solution within the present system. Neither saw an end to capitalist aggression and oppression as either feasible or foreseeable.
Additionally he viewed W. E. B. DuBois’ talented tenth theory as assimilationist as well. It was Haywood’s opinion that this top echelon of African Americans sought to appease whites. With this in mind this group of African Americans surmised that freedom and self determination for people of color would be a slow evolving process achieved through benevolence of white liberals167. The power to be ‘the Black voice’ yielded by this group in Haywood’s opinion came from their control over the Black media and acceptance by the white mass media.
In 1944 the Communist Party was dissolved and the Communist Political Association was formed. In his opinion Browder’s book, “Out Path to War and Peace” was responsible for this dissolution. Brower theories were revisionist and especially damaging to the struggle of African Americans. This book centered on five basic principles: “(1) American capitalism is exempt from Marxist laws of decay; (2) the struggle for socialism in America is impossible; (3) The imperialist class are bearers of prosperity and democracy; (4) Period of class peace in America resulting in progress for all; (5) African Americans had full equality through peaceful development in capitalism and had abandoned the right of self-determination”168
In short the Communist party felt that reforms through the American two party system was best. The Party maintained, in spite of these revisionist tactics, its reputation as a warrior for the African American struggle. In contrast, however, Haywood states that the Party became more reformist and betrayed African Americans. Furthermore, despite the NAACP’s agreement with the Truman administration’s “…anti-communist demagogy..” and its launching of “…vicious red-baiting campaigns…” the Communist Political Association continued to insist upon coalition activities with the Black reformist group169.
Soon Harry Haywood, not wanting to bow to the pressure of the party to be a reformist began to be ostracized and alienated. Later, while in Paris and awaiting a Polish visa, Harry Haywood and his wife were accused of being spies for the United States government. The French Central committee, upon word from the U. S., had sent warnings out to all progressive organizations that the Haywoods were gathering information on communist activity. As proof that he was in fact a spy, Haywood could not produce any Communist Political Association credentials, these credentials oddly enough had been denied Haywood. Haywood was informed that the time that such credentials were unnecessary170. The cold war began and Haywood was not the only victim of rumors. The top communist leadership was jailed. Without leadership the communist Party was forced to go underground and reduce its membership171. With this Communist Party abandoned the question of Black self-determination. Haywood became a target of FBI harassment. These occurrences led the CPA to become critical of itself and shift its focus to driving any remnant of white supremacy out.
In turn this led the white members to avoid saying anything negative, whether true or not, about their fellow African American comrades. Finally, white comrades began to avoid African American members in an effort to avoid any accusation of racism. This effort became so petty that using expressions like “…black coffee or black sheep…” could lead to explusion from the party172. Lastly, Haywood asserts that the party’s decisions to avoid work with the masses, or to put itself in the lead of any activities led to a wide disrespect for the party among African Americans.
The reformers won the Communist Party as the left wing factions, predominately African American and Puerto Rican left were expelled and they formed the PC in 1958. the PC, Provisional Organizing Committee for a Communist Party soon became filled with infighting. Haywood was expelled. Later he moved to Mexico with his new wife. In the 1970’s Haywood was instrumental in organizing the Communist Party (M-L), a Marxist Leninist party that dissolved in 1979.
1944

Adam Clayton Powell Jr., was elected to Congress – New York, became second Northern City to send an African American to congress.


Oct. 1944:

Mechanical cotton picker put in use which begins the mechanization of southern agriculture, each replaces 50 workers.


Whereas “civil rights organizations like the NAACP had lost prestige in the context o the 1930’s communist Party’s fight for the Scottsboro boys, they now reclaimed the initiative on behalf of African American rights. The NAACP rapidly expanded under the impact of wartime mobilization. The number of branches increased from 355 in 1940 to over 1,000 by war’s end. The number of members rose from over 50,600 to over 500,000. The organization continued to work through the courts to end lynchings, the poll tax, the white primary, and unequality in teachers’ salaries.173
April 12, 1945

Roosevelt died. Harry Truman, vice president under Roosevelt, becomes President.


During World War II, once again the U.S. needed African-American labor to close the gap between war production needs and military depletion of the white labor force. African-Americans migrated North to find jobs in industry despite white labor’s resistance. Segregation continued at home and in the military. During the war, African-American demands won a Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) and softening of segregation in the armed forces, and in some labor unions. White reaction fanned even by these minor concessions caused several severe fierce rebellions. As after World War I, when World War II was over, African-Americans lost most of the better jobs. The FEPC was disbanded in 1946. However, the setbacks weren’t as sudden as World War I because of the new international situation. Black political consciousness was sharpened by exposure to international events and military struggle. There was stronger out-cry against the hypocrisy of fighting for freedom against fascism when African-American life exposed similarities between the U.S. and axis imperialists.
1945

-World War II ends. United States drop two Atomic bombs on Japanese civilians.

-Jackie Robinson signed with the Montreal Royals farm team for Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team.

-Fifth Pan-African Congress held in Manchester England under guidance of George Padmore and his mentee Kwame N. Krumah, Aziwee from Nigeria and Jomo Kenyatta from Kenya are also present. The Congress calls for positive action for the immediate independence of Africa. Attendees eventually go home and escalate independence movements


Toward Pan African Liberation
No black person is free until all black people are free. Black liberation is impossible until there is world liberation and all vestiges of white power are destroyed. The revolution in the world and in America are all interdependent upon one another.
In order to achieve power, the third world peoples (black underclass) must realize their oppression is of an international order and they must organize to destroy and overthrow it internationally. The black underclass cannot achieve peace, justice and world harmony until the existing white power forces, worldwide, are completely removed from political, economic, social and cultural positions of power.
People in Africa, Asia, South Central and African America will remain under the yoke of neo-colonialism until they organize independently, internationally forming a world force, a world united front
The African in America holds the key to breaking white imperialist, neo-colonialist holdings and maneuverings in Africa by engaging in a massive international action movement inside the United States. The strategic residing of Africans the world over could give Africa a balance of position of world power, more so than if it had a hundred atomic or hydrogen bombs; if it appealed to the revolutionary internationalist feelings of the vast masses of the black world. If Africa does not do this, it and all Africans abroad, face neo-colonialist rule and possible extermination soon.
The black underclass must make decisions for themselves; one thing is evident from present neo-colonialist and imperialist control of Africa: The black revolutionary must become more aggressive and bold in terms of national liberation and self- determination. Black revolutionaries must create a condition that will mobilize all third world people to support the world revolution.
National liberation and control of a revolutionary state will be set back or destroyed if not surrounded by other bases of revolutionary action that are constantly harassing the enemy, not allowing him to focus on the particular liberation force. The whole world must be seen as one large battlefield in the world revolution and given land areas viewed as liberated or colonialized zones in a world wide protracted war to out-maneuver the enemy. Control of nation states becomes part of world liberation tactics rather than ends in themselves, in the strategy of the black underclass to free itself of world racism.
Pan Africanism or Black Nationalism obtains a new dynamism, that of international consciousness, that of achieving international consciousness, that of achieving international, world power for the people. Control of the formation for a world state that represents and works for the benefit of the world’s majority, the black underclass, becomes the ultimate focus of Pan-Africanism, Black Nationalism or Black Power or Revolutionary Internationalism. National liberation of nation states is an intermediate period for the creation of a world union of people’s republic.
It becomes evident that black people must organize for power internationally. In order for the black world to win it must develop a battery of black thinkers who develop revolutionary ways of reeducation and training the millions of African youth worldwide for revolutionary power. There is a great need for an international Peoples’ Guards movement. The black world must have a power base that must exist outside of any state governmental structure, so that its base couldn’t be zeroed in on. Revolutionary internationalists must form revolutionary internationalist parties that are part of an International Peoples’ Congress. The International Peoples’ Congress must be a mass movement, organizing national, regional, and local congresses serving as non-governmental international means of third world peoples communicating with one another.
All Africans at home and abroad must realize their fate is inter-connected with the fate of Mother Africa. All Africans at home and abroad must become revolutionary internationalists in their approach, using their technical skills gained in the oppressor’s world to build a United People’s Republic of Africa.
The principal contradiction in the world is between imperialism, particularly U. S. imperialism, and the colonies, between the haves and have-nots. This contradiction manifests on both a class and race basis. In the present situation there’s a dialectical relationship between race and class because the exploitation of the have-nots by the haves, though initially perpetrated on class lines is reinforced on race lines.
It becomes pertinent to analyze the present state and to draw a clear line for the future. In order for this contradiction to be resolved, imperialism and capitalism must be destroyed by the have-nots. The destruction of these systems will mean the end of class exploitation and will also mean the end of racial exploitation. The European forces have consolidated along racial lines and maintain their exploitation on the basis of racial lines. The world revolution will be a racial/class war between the haves (the imperialists) and the have-nots (the third world majority of the world). At the same time it will be a class war between the black underclass and the white over-class. The line of revolutionary internationalists is that the black underclass is the vanguard of the world revolution.
The European ruling class (bourgeoisie) duped the European the European middle class (petty bourgeoisie) and the European working class (proletariat) into believing that it was to their interests to oppress peoples in the colonies (Africa, Asia, South and Central America and enslave Africans in America in the form of chattel slavery. They did this so that the European middle class and European working class would not see the class contradictions and antagonisms in Europe and to keep them from uniting with the have-nots and seize power. The European working class chose and continues to choose to reap the profits of super exploitation of the colonies. The European working class in not dealing with the cultural (racial) contractions of the world, became a tool of imperialism, revisionism, and other counter-revolutionary forces.
Lenin, the architect of the October Bolshevik Russian Revolution, proposed that the European working class being racist had allowed the bourgeoisie to consolidate capitalism internationally, to develop “Imperialism.” Lenin developed the thesis that the principal contraction was between oppressing nations and oppressed nations. Lenin pleaded for the European working class to rally to the support of the oppressed nations before working class unity broke down. This he described vividly in the Right of Nations to Self-Determination. Lenin’s hope was for the European working class to rally to support the October Russian Revolution.
Even Lenin could not deal thoroughly with the racial contractions, for at the Second Congress of the Communist International held in Moscow in 1920, M. N. Roy of India challenged and debated Lenin on the future world revolution. Roy’s position was that the revolution was going to come from Asia and the European proletariat would be lead by colonial revolutions while Lenin, a European, did not foresee the hopelessness of the European proletariat. As far as he was concerned, Roy had taken the matter a little too far. Lenin stated that he saw and recognized the emergence of national bourgeois revolutions in the colonies (Asia, Africa, etc.), but did not see where they would become the vanguard of the world revolution. (M. North, Roys Mission to China.)
Roy and Lenin debated for hours to a draw. Although the Second Congress of the Communist (third) International approved and adopted both Roy’s and Lenin’s thesis, Roy’s was seldom referred to and little heard of. History had proven Lenin wrong. The initiative came from Asia. Stalin likewise followed in Lenin’s shoes of remaining indifferent to racial contradictions. While Stalin wrote on The National Question he manipulated the American Communist Party to use the Afro-American Liberation struggle to benefit Russian European Nationalism. The American Communist Party opposed Marcus Garvey, who refused to be controlled by them. By helping to crush Garvey, they helped no one but the European Bourgeoisie because Garvey threatened its control over Africa and other colonies. The American Communist Party later dropped the “Negro struggle” to form a united front against fascism. They urged everyone to support Roosevelt (orders coming from Stalin who had a pact with Roosevelt after Hitler attacked Russia). The Communist Party even opposed A. Philip Randolph’s proposed March on Washington in 1941 against job discrimination against blacks in federal government contracted work. Time and time again the American Communist Party sold the African-American out for the “Mother Country.”
George Padmore’s disillusionment with Stalin came while he was head of “Negro Affairs” in Moscow. He saw Stalin make opportunistic maneuvers with the African Liberation Movement in order to “save the Mother Country.” In China Stalin made disastrous blunders which almost cost the lives of the entire Chinese Communist movement. All black (Africa, Asia, South, Central and Afro-America) movements were set back and suffered many losses at the expense of Russian nationalism. Padmore attempted to deal with the racial contradictions by organizing the Fifth Pan African Congress held in 1945 in Manchester, England. Padmore’s experiences were similar to the experiences other brothers suffered with the European Communists, particularly between the French communists and African and Asian revolutionaries.
The racial contradictions began to manifest more when the Chinese Communists came to power in China. Long struggling against the social chauvinism (racism) of the Soviet Union, the emergence of Revolutionary China began to polarize racial and class contradictions within the world, in both the bourgeoisie imperialist camp and also in the European bourgeois Communist-Socialist camp.
The modern European socialist societies that have sprouted from the weak spots in European capitalism, though eliminating major class antagonisms, have not done away with racial antagonisms. They have but established new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of old ones.
The failure of European socialism and its vanguard-Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky – to deal comprehensively with the international racial curtain formed by capitalism in its highest stage, imperialism, has helped consolidate the chauvinistic cultural aspects of capitalism in all parts of the western world and has led to revisionism among the European Communist countries. The European working class has thus sold out to the western bourgeoisie.
Objectively, the European working class must either unite with the black underclass, the vast majority of the world or perish with the European bourgeoisie and revisionist Marxist leaders in the world revolution.
Brother Lin Piao stated in Long Live People’s War: Taking the entire globe, if North America and Western Europe can be called ‘the cities of the world,’ then Africa, Asia, and Latin America constitute’ the rural areas of the world’… In a sense, the contemporary world revolution also presents a picture of the encirclement of cities by the rural areas. In the final analysis, the whole cause of world revolution hinges on the revolutionary struggles of the African, Asian and Latin American peoples who make up the overwhelming majority of the world’s population.
An International racial curtain has been formed by capitalism’s advanced stages, colonialism, imperialism, and neo-colonialism. Frantz Fanon stated in Wretched of the Earth … “When you examine at close quarters the colonial context, it is evident what parcels out the world is (to begin with) the fact of belonging to a given race, a given species. In the consequence; you are rich because you are white, you are white because you are rich.” The colonized become a new class, “a thing-nigger, chink, spick” all lumped together. All become one Black Underclass oppressed by all of European society, both its bourgeoisie and its proletariat. Though class antagonisms exist within the Black Underclass, among its bourgeoisie, middle class, working class, peasantry and unemployed, they are secondary to the racial (nationalist) antagonisms or contradictions between the colonized and the colonizer, the haves and the have-nots. This racial system has been established for a period of four hundred years and is embedded as a way of life in European society and transplanted throughout the rest of the world. The essence of world revolution being a total “social revolution” is not just the elimination of the reactionary political and economic institutions of the old order, but also the social and cultural institutions, of the old order. The international racial system predetermines all relations between dark peoples and European, regardless of class (economic and political), status or position. Class becomes interlocked with race. In order for black peoples to revolutionize the world, we must destroy the racial system, European racial “cultural” superiority, at the same time destroying the class system since . . . “In the final analysis, the whole cause of world revolution hinges on the revolutionary struggles of the Asian, African, and Latin American peoples who make up the overwhelming majority for the world’s population” …the world revolution takes on a different character. It takes on a racial character or nature of being largely a world “black” revolution that is primarily of the black underclass.
The world revolution is a new democratic revolution of the world’s majority rising up, seizing power and destroying the international racial system created by the oppressor. At the same time it destroys the foundations of capitalism, the class system. This stage is the first step for the transformation to a world communalist society. The world revolution is different from all others. It must be a revolution against the international racial system, imperialism, capitalism and neo-colonialism. It must be led by the non-white masses of the world under the leadership of the black peasantry—working class element of the black underclass. The world revolution embraces in its ranks all classes within the black underclass for a final showdown with imperialism.
M. N. Roy of India in the Second Congress of the Communist International held in Moscow in 1920 stated that the proletariat and revolutionary movement in Europe was dependent upon the course of the revolution in Asia; if the Western European working class was going to cause a revolution, they would in essence do it in order to save their own skins. In stating this Roy in actuality repudiated Marx’s theory that “the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class.” Roy saw that white workers benefited from oppression in the colonies and semi-colonies and were not about to give up those benefits. Lenin also saw this but failed to see that the revolutionary initiative in the world was not in the hands of the European working class but the black underclass. Trotsky failed to see this because he, like Lenin, thought the “permanent revolution” was coming from Europe.
Lenin saw clearly what Marx, having died before Imperialism attained its zenith, was unable to foresee; namely, the gradual corruption of the European Socialist movements through “Bourgeoisification.” The capitalist system, which Marx had so brilliantly analyzed, had, in Lenin’s lifetime, reached out into the remotest corners of the earth—into Asia and Africa—drawing the great continents into its tentacles and squeezing super profits from the toil of hundreds of millions …Lenin’s thesis was that Western Capitalism had become international monopolies had been established on a world scale and whole continents and countries, Indonesia, Burma, Indo-China, etc. had been reduced to colonies and economic dependencies of European nations. The financial and military strength of the Great Powers rested upon the continued exploitation of the colored people and the super profits derived from colonial spoliation enabled the ruling classes of the West to corrupt the white workers of the metropolis and blunt their revolutionary ardor.
Hence, argued Lenin, the Western domination of the world can only be broken by stirring the colored colonial and semi-colonial peoples of Asia and Africa to achieve their national independence. According to Karl Marx, the proletarian revolution which was to usher in communism would occur first in the highly developed countries where there existed the economic and social prerequisites as well as an educated and cultured industrial working class to form the first foundations of socialism. After the Bolshevik Revolution, Lenin, seeing that the Western European workers were in no hurry to perform the historic role which Marx had assigned to them in his Communist Manifesto, decided to forget about them and reach out to those who were still uncorrupted by capitalist reform and yearned to break the fetters of imperialist domination.
Lenin stated in the Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination, that, “the proletariat must demand freedom of political secession for the colonies and nations that are oppressed by its nation. Unless it does this, proletarian internationalism will remain a meaningless phrase; neither mutual confidence nor class solidarity between the workers of the oppressing and oppressed nations will be possible.”
Though Lenin even admitted that, Marx was thinking mainly of the interests of the proletarian class struggle in the advanced countries, but could not see the incorrectness in Marx’s thesis on revolutionary initiative and what made up the vanguard of the world revolution. He, therefore, could not understand that M. N. Roy was correct on both the national and international questions.
Roy correctly analyzed tactics to be used in the colonial revolution when he developed the theory for revolutionaries to only cooperate with bourgeois nationalists when necessary primarily in the initial stages and with caution, develop working class parties which would organize workers and peasants and inspire them to revolution “from below.” Lenin’s thesis was the use of tactics primarily from the vanguard but the debating over the issue was so great between him and Roy at the Second Congress of the Communist International that Lenin compromised and met Roy half way, and the Congress adopted a dual thesis for the colonial situation, that of organizing from above and below.
Marx thought that socialist revolutions would occur in Western Europe in countries where capitalism had developed to a high level and where the proletariat was organized and strong. Instead, revolutions occurred in essentially underdeveloped countries where capitalism was just developing and where the proletariat was basically unorganized and weak.
According to the present world situation, the European proletariat is no longer a revolutionary class. This proletariat, due to the opportunism of a European labor aristocracy, has refused to unite with the international third world proletariat to demand its right of self-determination. They are acting as the counter-revolutionaries for the Western bourgeoisie by supporting their regime’s domestic and foreign policies. So, as Lenin foresaw but did not thoroughly deal with Proletarian Internationalism has remained a meaningless phrase and there is no mutual confidence nor class solidarity between the workers of the oppressing and oppressed nation. Proletarian internationalism has been superseded by Black Internationalism (the unification of peoples of Asia, Africa, Afro., South and Central America). The black underclass becomes the revolutionary class within the world with the black working class-the peasant element being its most revolutionary sector.
The first stage of the struggle for liberation of the black underclass against the white overclass is national struggle. The black underclass must struggle against the particular imperialist power that is directly oppressing it nationally, but it must be remembered that behind all imperialism today is U.S. Imperialism. Therefore, while waging a war of liberation against its immediate oppressor, it must also wage war against U. S. imperialism internationally.
Since the end of the second imperialist war, U.S. Imperialism has become the leader of world Imperialism. As Mao Tse-tung observes, “Like a vicious wolf, it is bullying and enslaving various peoples, plundering their wealth; encroaching upon their countries’ sovereignty and interfering in their international affairs. It is the most rabid aggressor in known history and the most ferocious common enemy of the people of the world. Every people or country in the world that wants revolution, independence and peace cannot but direct the spearhead of its struggle against U.S. Imperialism… The U.S. Imperialist’s policy of seeking world domination make it possible for the people throughout the world to unite all the forces that can be united and form the broadest possible united front for a conveying attack on U.S. Imperialism…”
Successful movements of the black underclass against the white over-class since the end of the second imperialist war have taken the form of “people’s war,” better known as guerilla war. The nature of these people’s war are protracted wars that mobilize the mass of the “black underclass to form national democratic revolutions” to violently overthrow or throw out the oppressor. The revolution embraces in its ranks not only workers, peasants, and the urban petty bourgeoisie, but also the national bourgeoisie and other patriotic and anti-imperialist democrats, but is led by the black working class peasant element of the black under class, according to Lin Piao.
Marx stated in the Communist Manifesto “every form of society has been based, as we have already seen, on the antagonism of the oppressing and oppressed classes.” In today’s world society, the oppressing class is the white over-class and the oppressed is the black underclass, therefore, the world revolutionary initiative and leadership is in the hands of the black underclass.
Revolutionary internationalists constantly struggle through various stages of their national movements against colonialism, capitalism, imperialism and neo-colonialism but always emphasize that without the correct international perspective, national liberation movements can fall prey to neo-colonialism. Revolutionary internationalists are the ávant guard’ of the black underclass in every country: they act as catalysts, vanguard and theoretical clearinghouse in national revolutions.
The immediate aim of revolutionary internationalists is the formation of the black underclass into a powerful national liberation movement, overthrow of colonialism, imperialism, and neo-colonialism and the conquest of the world political power by the black underclass. While black internationalists are at the same time revolutionary nationalists in their own countries, they understand that “the world is the black man’s land” and a world government under the democracy of the black underclass is the ultimate solution of the world black revolution.
The question of a democracy of the black underclass opposed to the theory of a dictatorship of the proletariat (the working class) is a historical question. To be a black internationalist is to admit the need for the democracy of the black underclass. The democracy of the black underclass is the central issue of the ideological differences between third world internationalists and reformists. The theory of the black underclass democracy is the only means capable of putting an end to the universal slavemaster, the white man’s evil, cruelty and his exploiting nationalists’ movements and their leaders. It is not enough to see the necessity of eliminating entirely the European’s rule, influence and control over the world by the establishment of a democracy of the Black Underclass.
This is what constitutes the most profound difference between third world internationalists and others. This is the birth stone on which real understanding and recognition of black internationalism is to be tested. The question of the democracy of the third world underclass should occupy a special place in third world internationalism because without the seizure of political power, without the democracy of the third world underclass, there can be no victory for communalism. The third world internationalists’ theory of the establishment of a society without race and exploitation would remain wishful thinking if the third world underclass and its Revolutionary Internationalists’ Movements did not concentrate their efforts on what is most decisive, the seizure of power to reorganize society along communal lines.
The International race system has produced two nations internationally—the black nation (oppressed nation) and the white nation (the oppressing nation). There are two types of nationalism. One type suppresses or oppresses, i.e., a nation or particular group reaps profits or advances materially at the expense, exploitation, slavery or torture of another group of nations. In this nation and in the world today, this nationalism is considered “white nationalism” or the cooperation of the white western nations to keep the new emerging oppressed world in bondage. This is capitalism or reactionary nationalism. The other type of nationalism is to liberate or free from exploitation. That is the binding force of a nation or particular group to free itself from a group or nation that is suppressing or oppressing it. In this country and in the world, this is considered revolutionary nationalism.
We can see that revolutionary nationalism is the opposite of white nationalism-revolutionary nationalism being innovative and white being reactionary. We see that nationalism is really internationalism today. Brother Malcolm in his Message to the Grass Roots said, “All the revolutions going on in Asia and Africa today are based on black nationalism… If you’re afraid of black nationalism, you’re afraid of revolution and if you love revolution, you love black nationalism.”
We can see that the international perspective in the world today is built on internationalist interests, dividing the world into two international nations: the white nation and the black nation.
The present world scene is one of chaos and turmoil caused by white nationalism (white power). The vast majority of the world, the black underclass, know that they can only achieve peace and harmony through a world revolution that demolishes white power. Only then can the world be in “universal” harmony and revolutionary internationalism will then prevail. The need for national boundaries and barriers will be eliminated. National sovereignty will still be respected, but the need for nationalism in its aggressive form will be eliminated. When white counter-revolutionary nationalism is completely annihilated, a “United World People’s Republic,” a new level of social order, can be created. The world revolution brings with it a new world society. It also brings with it the concept of universal law and order.174
In 1947 the NAACP won a major case which declared the white primary in political parties unconstitutional in Smith vs. Allwright in Texas.
Postwar Changes: Truman
1947

“White Primary” outlawed – declared unconstitutional (NAACP).

-President Truman integrates the armed services.

-On June 24, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball becoming the first African American player for the Dodgers team in Brooklyn, New York in the national league. On July 5, 1947, Larry Doby became the second African American player in the major leagues playing for the Cleveland Indians and the first African American baseball player in the American League


1948

Race became a key issue in the presidential elections. African Americans were a decisive vote because of the international situation with decolonization in Africa and Asia and the Cold War with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Truman made racial equality a plank in the Democratic party. Southern Dixiecrats (racists) broke from Truman and ran their own candidates. Thomas Dewey, Republican candidate from New York under estimated Truman and didn’t campaign. Henry Wallace ran as a third party candidate, (Progressive Party) on an anti-racist, anti-imperialist, anti-monopoly capitalist campaign. (Truman was aware that the African American population was going to break from the Democratic Party. He stole the program of Henry Wallace and implements it). Truman wrote a “white” paper (office white house documents) titled to Secure These Rights. The NAACP wins primary cases against segregation building legal presence to Brown. Wall failed to win the African American vote, which went overwhelming to Truman. Wallace got 1.5 million votes. Truman took a train ride to local whistle stops. “Give em Hell, Harry!” became a mass slogan.


1949

Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese Communists are victorious in China.




The 1950's, the Terror of McCartyism and the Mass break in Montgomery, Alabama:
In 1950 the United States and the United Nations after the Soviet Union walked out of the security council, entered the Korean Conflict. Integrated U.S. troops were used for the first time in war. Paul Robeson, president of the Civil Rights Congress (CRC) in a mass rally in Madison Square Garden of 10,000 persons advocated that African-Americans not participate in the Korean War. The Civil Rights Congress which existed from 1946 to 1956 led freedom rides in Virginia and engaged in mass demonstrations against racial discrimination. The CRC also attempted to save the lives of Willie McGee, an African-American accused of raping a white woman and the Martinville Seven in Virginia in 1951. Attorney William Peterson drafted the CRC’s petition to the United Nations charging the U.S. government with crime of genocide against African-Americans. The CRC had 10,000 members and was subpoenaed by the House on Un-American activities Committee (HUAC).
The mass hysteria created by Senator McCarthy in his anti-communist crusade put extreme pressure on the NAACP and the AFL and CIO to purge their ranks of communists. The NAACP and some labor unions compiled.
The National Negro Labor Council (NNLC)
The National Negro Labor Council (NNLC), an interracial group that fought employment discrimination was founded October 27, 1951 in Cincinnati, in response to Union practices of collecting dues from African-American workers but barring them from office. Under the leadership of William R Hood, the membership was 5,000 consisting of African-Americans and whites; mostly trade unionists. The NNLC picketed and protested for labor equality in Unions and private companies nationwide. Through picket lines and protests, the group helped African-Americans get jobs in banks, the airlines, and department stores. The NNLC led the first picket around American Airlines in Cleveland, because the company was not hiring African-American female flight attendants. The NNLC picketed the Commonwealth Bank in Detroit creating jobs for African-Americans as tellers and protested the hiring practices of Sears, Roebuck and Co. The organization also pushed San Francisco’s T System Street Railway to hire African-American drivers. The NNLC disbanded on April 29, 1956 rather than submit its membership list to the government for which a hearing had been scheduled before the subversive Activities Control Board in Washington, D.C.175
Joe William Trotter, Jr. in The African-American Experience Volume II From Reconstruction, states, that when the NNCL disbanded in 1956, African-American trade unionists formed the American Labor Council (ANLC) in 1959 which heightened the connection between the labor and civil rights movements emphasizing the utility of non-violent direct action strategies for social change.176
In 1954 the NAACP won a major decision from the Supreme Court outlawing Separate but equal and overruling Plessey vs. Ferguson of 1896. Charles Houston’s protégé, Thurgood Marshall won the case for the NAACP. A year later two major events occurred, Emmett Till , an African-American teenager visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi was lynched because he whistled at a white woman. The event shocked the nation. Then on December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, the secretary for the Montgomery, Alabama NAACP and a member of the Women’s Political Council decided not to give up her seat in a segregated arrangement to a white man on a bus while she was riding home from work.


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