Marxists Internet Archive: History Archive: U.S. Black Liberation

Black Liberation
History Archive
1700s – Present

The struggle for Black Liberation in the US is the the second oldest anti-oppression struggle in the United States of America. Only the struggle of the indigenous native people’s is older. However, it was the kidnapping of millions of Black Africans to the early British Colonies in North American that started the defining dynamic that allowed for the early accumulation of capital through the institution of chattel slavery, both as an exploitive form of labor and in terms of the slave trade itself. Slavery, and that which flowed from it: the establishment of the color line in society; segregation and the struggles against it, and the role of the Black working class in the class struggle have all made the Black Question the question in terms of understanding capitalism and Imperialism in the United States to this day. Offered below are links that deal with all manner of this question mostly, though not exclusively, from a Marxist and Socialist perspective.

Leading Activists and Organizations in Black Liberation

The Black Panther Party (1966-1979) Malcolm X (1925 - 1965)
The Black Panthers represented one of the first organized attempts in U.S. history to militantly struggle for racial and working class emancipation – a party which inherited the teachings from Malcolm X to Mao Tse-Tung, and set on their agenda the revolutionary establishment of real economic, social, and political equality across gender and color lines. Revolutionary Black nationalist freedom fighter; Muslim Minister, formerly of the Nation of Islam, which he helped build from an organisation of hundreds to hundreds of thousands. Gave definition to the term Black Nationalism more than any other activist in the 1960s. Assassinated in 1965.
Civil Rights Movement (under development) C. L. R. James (1901-1989)
Currently 3 speeches by Martin L. King, Jr., in MP3 format are available at this time. This section will cover the battle for civil rights in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. James was born in Trinadad and was won to the communist movement in the early 1930s. Joining the U.S. Socialist Workers Party he became a Party spokesperson not only anti-racist issues and Black Liberation generally but on the whole pantheon of Marxist theory from Political Economy to Philosophy.
Harry Haywood (1898-1985)
He is best known as the main theorist of the African American National Question within the CPUSA. Specifically, Haywood developed the theory that African Americans make up an oppressed nation in the Black Belt region of the South where they have the right to self-determination, up to and including the right to independence. Harry Haywood led the CP's work in the African American national movement for some time, both as the Chair of the CP's Negro Commission and as the General Secretary of the League of Struggle for Negro Rights, where he was instrumental in organizing the Sharecroppers Union and the Scottsboro defense. He lived for four and half years in the Soviet Union where he helped to author the 1928 and 1930 Comintern Resolutions on the African American National Question

Black Periodicals

Early Communist & Socialist Documents & Writers on Black Liberation

“Georgia Nigger” by John L. Spivak (1932)
A novel depicting the brutality of racist peonage labor and chain gangs, was serialized several newspapers, including the Daily Worker and the Des Moines Tribune. Soon after it appeared in 1932, an academic study called it “a second Uncle Tom’s Cabin, an indictment of peonage and convict-labor in Georgia, powerful enough to put to shame all the rhapsodists of the folk Negro's happy state.”

Trotskyist Documents & Writers on Black Liberation

Pioneer Press/SWP pamphlets on the Negro/Black/African-American struggle

Pamphlets on this subject by Albert Parker/George Breitman:

Defend the Negro Sailors 1940 by Albert Parker (George Breitman)

The Negro March on Washington 1941 by Albert Parker (George Breitman)

Roosevelt and the Negroes 1942 by Albert Parker (George Breitman)

The Negro March on Washington — One Year Later 1942by Albert Parker (George Breitman)

Negros March on Washington 1943 by Albert Parker (George Breitman)

The Struggle for Negro Equality 1943 by Albert Parker (George Breitman), co-written with John Saunders

The Negro in the Post-War World 1942 by Albert Parker (George Breitman)

NAACP Appeals to the UN 1947 by Albert Parker (George Breitman)

The Bomb-Murder of Harry T. Moore 1952 by Albert Parker (George Breitman)

Negro ‘Progress’ — What the Facts Show 1952 by Albert Parker (George Breitman)

When Anti-Negro Prejudice Began 1954 by George Bretiman

The Future of the Negro Struggle by 1963 George Breitman

How A Minority Can Change Society 1964 by George Breitman

Question of Alliances in Negro Freedom Struggle 1965 by George Breitman

Marxism and the Negro Struggle 1965 by George Breitman

In Defense Of Black Power 1966 by George Breitman

Introduction to Afro-American History by Malcolm X 1967 by George Breitman

Myths About Malcolm X 1967 by George Breitman

Pamphlets on the Negro/Black Question by other authors

Tampa — Tar and Terror 1935 by the Committee for Defense of Civil Rights in Tampa (not the SWP but by an organization among whose founders were members of the SWP)

A Practical Program to Kill Jim Crow 1945 by Charles Jackson

Vigilante Terror in Fontana The Tragic Story of O'Day H. Short and his Family 1946 by Myra Tanner Weiss

A Letter to American Negros 1948 by William B. Bohannan

My Name is Wesley Robert Wells 1951 by the San Francisco Civil Rights Committee (not the SWP but by an organization among whose founders were members of the SWP)

Racist Terror at Trumbull Park, Chicago 1954 by Howard Mayhew

Desegregation! Labor’s Stake in the Fight for Negro Equality 1955 by Jean Simon 1955

The Class-Struggle Road to Negro Equality 1957 by the SWP

Freedom Now! New Stage in the Struggle for Negro Emancipation 1963 by the SWP but drafted by George Breitman

Why Watts Exploded 1966 by Della Rossa, published by the Los Angeles Local of the SWP

The Black Uprising 1967 by Paul Boutelle, Derrick Morrison, George Novack

The Spartacist League on the Struggle for Black Liberation

Black History and the Class Struggle [Series No. 1]

On the Civil Rights Movement [Series No. 2]

Massacre of Philly MOVE [Series No. 3]

Black Soldiers in the Jim Crow Military [Series No. 4]

Finish the Civil War! [Series No. 5]

Touisant L’ouverture and the Hatian Revolution [Series No. 6]

Black Soldiers Fight for Freedom. Review of Glory [Series No. 7]

South African and Permanent Revolution [Series No. 8]

L.A. Explodes [Series No. 9]

Malcolm X [Series No. 10]

Stop the Klan! For a Workers America [Series No. 11]

South Africa Powder Keg [Series No. 12]

Fight for Black Freedom, Fight for a Socialist Future! [Series No. 13]

Capitalist Rulers Wage War on Blacks, Immigrants [Series No. 14]

Free Mumia! [Series No. 15]

South African Workers Battle Neo-Apartheid [Series No. 16]

War On Terror Means War on Immigrants, Blacks, Labor [Series No. 17]

Life in Black Panther Party [Series No. 18]

New Orleans: Racist Atrocity [Series No. 19]

From Mumia Abu-Jamal to Jenna Six: Capital Justice = Racist Repression [Series No. 20]

Obama: CEO of Racist American Capitalist System [Series No. 21]

Open Letter to the Black Panthers [Series No. 22]

The Rise and Fall of the Black Panther Party

Break with the Bourgeois Tri-Partate Alliance, from Spartacist South Africa

Post WWII Anti-Revisionist Documents & Writers on Black Liberation

Page last updated: 23 May 2017