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Black Communists Speak on Scottsboro

Black Communists Speak on Scottsboro: A Documentary History

Edited by Walter T. Howard
Copyright Date: 2008
Published by: Temple University Press
Pages: 200
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  • Book Info
    Black Communists Speak on Scottsboro
    Book Description:

    On March 25, 1931, Alabama police detained nine young African AMerican men at a railroad stop not far from Scottsboro. In the process, they encountered two white women -- who promptly accused the young men of raping them. Soon after, all-white juries found the nine youths guilty and eight of them were sentenced to death. Although many Americans were outraged by the injustices of the case, the loudest voices raised in protest were those of members of the American Communist Party.Many white Communists spoke out, but black Communists took the lead in organizing public protests and legal responses. As this surprising book makes clear, they were acting at the direction of the Communist International (Comintern), which had directed them to address the "Negro problem." Now, with the opening of formerly inaccessible Communist party archives, this collection of primary documents reveals the little-known but major roles played by black Communists in the case of "the Scottsboro Boys."

    eISBN: 978-1-59213-599-8
    Subjects: Sociology, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface and Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Introduction: Background and Context
    (pp. 1-27)

    Southern law officers, on 25 March 1931, detained nine young African American males at a railroad stop in Paint Rock, Alabama, after hearing of a brawl between black and white youths on a freight train. In the process, they came across two white women, Ruby Bates and Victoria Price, who promptly accused the nine young blacks of raping them. Four of the so-called Scottsboro youths—Roy and Andy Wright, Eugene Williams, and Haywood Patterson—were from Chattanooga, Tennessee. The five others—Ozie Powell, Clarence Norris, Olen Montgomery, Charlie Weems, and Willie Roberson—hailed from various places in Georgia. The latter...

  5. “They Shall Not Die!”
    (pp. 28-56)
  6. A Call to Millions
    (pp. 57-83)
  7. Harry Haywood Speaks
    (pp. 84-98)
  8. William Patterson Speaks
    (pp. 99-120)
  9. Monitoring the Case
    (pp. 121-134)
  10. Following Through
    (pp. 135-151)
  11. Epilogue
    (pp. 152-154)
  12. Profiles of Black Communists
    (pp. 155-157)
  13. Appendix
    (pp. 158-182)
  14. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 183-187)
  15. Index
    (pp. 188-197)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 198-199)