By Harry Haywood
A toddler of slaves, Harry Haywood grew to become a pioneer theorist of Black energy and a pacesetter of the communist circulation within the thirties. Black Bolshevik is a dramatic and private narrative of 50 years of the Black fight and the yank left, together with first-hand bills of the Chicago race insurrection of 1919, the safeguard of the Scotsboro Boys, organizing sharecroppers within the South, and the Spanish Civil conflict. writer of the vintage 'Negro Liberation,' member of the Communist Party's Politburo and head of its Negro division within the thirties, Haywood used to be expelled as a dissident within the fifties. Amiri Baraka referred to as this a 'powerful political journal... The sweep of background and occasion contained during this publication will fascinate any critical reader.'
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Additional resources for Black Bolshevik: Autobiography of an Afro-American Communist
Like others, I am still waiting to be found out. This is more than I have ever been able to say about my path in public, and it is likely too much, given the culture of narcissism and not least 22 Socialism by the Back Door of all because the traditions to which I am drawn—whether marxism or hermeneutics—tell us not to take seriously what subjects say about themselves. To refer to Benjamin again, one should never trust what an author says about his own work. So let me shift more directly to the story of labor history as I see it.
1 Or, as the maxim sets it, Geschichte ist Geschichte—history is stories. These things seem to have some resonance for me, whether because they are German, I cannot say. But my own consistent sense is that we all have stories to tell, that we live in history, and that history is marked by contingency, twists and turns, coincidence, accident. That I should be here at all is an accident. My dad was born in Germany in 1923, the moment inflation reached wheelbarrow proportions, the moment, perhaps, that Weimar began to dissolve internally; my mum was born there in 1924.
But Croydon was a good place to grow up, a happy accident. I had one of those special teachers people sometimes have. , teaching in the local high school. He opened the world of the mind to me at the same time as I entered the British migrant, part-bohemian, rock-and-roll culture of Croydon, a place where into the 1960s people painted, worked in metal and clay, read Kerouac and Camus, listened to the blues or to The Who and Pink Floyd, to the Mothers of Invention and Velvet Underground before they were popular, and made their own music in turn.