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By Cathy Bergin

The legacy of the connection among African American writers and Communism within the US is a contested one. Bergin argues that during 3 novels, by way of seminal mid-century authors (Wright, Himes and Ellison) Communism isn't really disregarded as incapable of assembly the calls for of black political id yet is castigated for its refusal to take action. an in depth specialise in the political milieu within which those texts function demanding situations a number of the presumptions concerning the ‘inability’ of Communism to realize racial oppression, which dominate literary serious ways to those novels. She attracts at the advanced formations black political corporation presumed and reproduced through American Communism throughout the Depression.

Biographical note
Cathy Bergin (DPhil (2004) is a Senior Lecturer within the Humanities Programme on the collage of Brighton.

All drawn to the contested dating among African American writers and Communism and the connection among politics and literary shape.

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Extra info for 'Bitter with the Past but Sweet with the Dream': Communism in the African American Imaginary. Representations of the Communist Party, 1940-1952

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78 Quoted in Martin 1985, p. 167. 79 The CPUSA was going to war against Southern racism, but it was a war also against the NAACP. The NAACP consistently challenged American racism, but their gradualist and legalistic approach rarely rallied the black poor. 80 In the early 1930s the NAACP were the target of an unrestrained sectarian onslaught by the Communist Party. Again the rationale for Communist practice was rooted both in the concrete historical situation and in the Stalinist hegemony of the international workers’ movement.

See Pinkney 1976, p. 44. 36 Meier and Rudwick 1976, p. 248. 28 chapter 1 militancy in the twentieth century, but it is the specific relationship between Communists and the UNIA and the ideological divergence between radical black nationalism and Marxism which is significant here. I am concerned to recreate the model of black identity assumed and reproduced by Communism in relation to Garveyism so as to better highlight the specificity of the model enabled by the activities of the CPUSA. In the 1920s how did Communists produce a model of radical black agency which stressed an interracial proletarian identity in relation to the mass movement of Garveyism which held that white workers were inherently racist?

144–6). The Liberator covered the trial, and later set up a campaign to stop Yokinen’s subsequent deportation by the authorities who were alerted to his illegal status by the publicity surrounding the trial. The Party maintained that it was his newly acquired antiracism that made him an ‘undesirable citizen’. See Liberator, 18 July 1931. 66 See Solomon 1998, p. 140. 67 Painter 1979, p. 212. 68 Chicago Defender, 7 March, 1931, quoted in Foner and Shapiro 1987, p. 181. ‘ towards soviet america ’ 37 of the centrality of black dignity to Communist political identity.

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