Why did Communism never catch on among African-Americans?

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Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,425
Republika Srpska
#11
Was organizing actually safe for black Communists in Alabama in the 1930s, though? I mean, one would think that angry Southern whites might have lynched any Southern blacks who were also Red in the 1930s, no?
It was not safe. Black Communists were arrested and persecuted so they had to organize their meetings in secret. They would smuggle leaflets in baskets of laundry for example. A sense of pride was created from avoiding persecution as many blacks found it very satisfying to outsmart the whites and to spread Communist propaganda. As far as battles with the police go, the biggest one was probably the 1933 Birmingham May Day confrontation. However, Alabama Communists generally avoided open battles and direct violence, knowing the climate in the South at the time.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,200
SoCal
#12
It was not safe. Black Communists were arrested and persecuted so they had to organize their meetings in secret. They would smuggle leaflets in baskets of laundry for example. A sense of pride was created from avoiding persecution as many blacks found it very satisfying to outsmart the whites and to spread Communist propaganda. As far as battles with the police go, the biggest one was probably the 1933 Birmingham May Day confrontation. However, Alabama Communists generally avoided open battles and direct violence, knowing the climate in the South at the time.
What happened in Birmingham in 1933?
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,425
Republika Srpska
#13
What happened in Birmingham in 1933?
The Party organized a rally to celebrate the International Workers' Day and to protest failed relief efforts (after all, this was a period still marked by the Depression). 3000 people showed up. They were met by the policemen and by the Klansmen who pushed them onto the sidewalk. A woman named Jane Speed started talking to the crowd before she was arrested. The Communists started a shoving match with the police and the Klan and this turned into a street fight.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,294
#14
The Soviet Union and Communist Party put a lot of effort into recruiting blacks. There were very successful in recruiting black leaders, but not so much with ordinary black people.

They got involved in causes that other activists wouldn't touch. For example, there was a Communist controlled share croppers union. They also got involved in cases of blacks sentenced to death on often false charges of raping white women.

The 1939 Nazi-Soviet Pact caused a loss of black members, as it did with Jewish members, who were a fairly large portion of Communist Party membership.
 
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Aug 2014
67
U.S.
#15
Why did Communism never catch on among African-Americans? Was it because they were unwilling to form an alliance with a white working class that frequently supported discrimination against them? Was it because being black in the US was hard enough without also being Red? Was it because the Communist idea of a black ethno-state or at least a black federal unit within the US simply didn't appeal very much to blacks? Was it for some other reason?

What are your own thoughts on this?
Maybe black folks didn't want to be killed by their own government, like millions of other citizens of Communist countries?
 
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Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,425
Republika Srpska
#17
There were very successful in recruiting black leaders, but not so much with ordinary black people.
They were successful enough to compel the KKK to issue posters like this:
1566803978412.png

It should be noted that not only whites (even Communist whites) were opposed to blacks becoming Communist...many blacks were as well. NAACP opposed Communism as well calling it an "insidious propaganda".
 
Sep 2012
3,888
Bulgaria
#18
In the 30s of the last century Soviets recruited skilled foreign workers and specialists, so certain amount of Americans came to USSR to work there, among them several hundreds black Americans. Most didnt know anything about this country or communism, they were seeking a better life, desperate to flee from depression and post-depression hardships ravaging their homeland at the time. Some of them chose to stay in USSR and their descendants are now Afrorussians.

Angela Davis was a poster girl for the second world. Commie mummies liked her, because she was young, beautiful and very passionate. She doesnt talk much about her flirt with the commie regimes nowadays.
 
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Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,317
Netherlands
#19
I was asking specifically about US blacks here because they have an especially strong history of oppression, though; even poor whites in the US were not as oppressed as US blacks were.
Your inherent assumption is wrong. Communism never has and never appeal to the "oppressed masses". From Marx to Sanders they were almost always reasonably well to do people (usually students), who never experienced any oppression before turning communist.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,069
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#20
Your inherent assumption is wrong. Communism never has and never appeal to the "oppressed masses". From Marx to Sanders they were almost always reasonably well to do people (usually students), who never experienced any oppression before turning communist.
"Oh my god, it's an oppressed mass again!"
"Cleaner!"
"So you've had a wash, that's no excuse!"
 
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