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About the author

This site was written by May Nicol, an undergraduate History major at the City College of New York. Comments, questions, and criticism are welcome. Email: mnicol000@citymail.cuny.edu.

This project was created for Professor William Gibbon’s Fall 2021 FIQWS course “Historical Survey of African-American Literature,” taught in conjunction with Professor Michael Druffel. I would like to thank both professors for their dedication and help with this research project.


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Communist Party USA. “Southern Worker.” Marxist Internet Archives. Accessed December 14, 2021. https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/southernworker/#1931.  

Dilawar, Arvind. “A More Perfect Union: On the Black Labor Organizers Who Fought for Civil Rights after Reconstruction and through the Twentieth Century.” Lapham’s Quarterly, November 16, 2020. https://www.laphamsquarterly.org/roundtable/more-perfect-union.  

“England Food Riot of 1931.” Encyclopedia of Arkansas, March 19, 2019. https://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/entries/england-food-riot-of-1931-1308/.  

Kelley, Robin D.G. Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists during the Great Depression. Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Edition. United States: The University of North Carolina Press, 2015. 

Gray, Briahna. “Beware the Race Reductionist.” The Intercept, August 26, 2018. https://theintercept.com/2018/08/26/beware-the-race-reductionist/.  

Haywood, Harry. For a Revolutionary Position on the Negro Question. Chicago: Liberator Press, 1977. 

Haywood, Harry. Negro Liberation. New York: International Publishers, 1984. 

Johnson, Timothy V. “‘We Are Illegal Here’: The Communist Party, Self-Determination and the Alabama Sharecroppers Union.” Science & Society 75, no. 4 (2011): 454–79. https://www.jstor.org/stable/41290188.

Law, Michael Kief. “Alabama Sharecroppers Union.” Encyclopedia of Alabama. Accessed December 14, 2021. http://encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-2477.  

“Southern Worker, March 7, 1931.” Southern Worker. Communist Party of U.S.A., March 7, 1931. http://hdl.handle.net/2333.1/4b8gtp91.  

Stalin, Joseph. Joseph Stalin: Marxism and the National Question, Selected Writings and Speeches. New York: International Publishers, 1942. 

Tomek, Beverly. “The Communist International and the Dilemma of the American ‘Negro Problem’: Limitations of the Black Belt Self-Determination Thesis.” WorkingUSA 15, no. 4 (2012): 549–76. https://doi.org/10.1111/wusa.12004.  

Zumoff, Jacob A. “17 ‘Self-Determination’ and Comintern Intervention.” The Communist International and US Communism, 1919-1929, 2014, 352–64. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004268890_019.