Harry Haywood

Les Schaffer schaffer at SPAMoptonline.net
Tue Nov 28 08:40:53 MST 2000

[bounce from unsubbed "Jay Moore" <research at plainfield.bypass.com>]

Harry Haywood was, as you will read, an important black leader of the CP,
USA in the "old days".  He was the principal author of the "Black Belt
thesis" about African-American liberation at the 1928 Comintern meeting.  He
left the CP due to its "revisionism" in the 1950s and joined up with the
"New Communist Movement" forces of the early 1970s, one of which was the
Communist Party, Marxist-Leninist led by the ex-SDS leader Michael Klonsky.
Haywood was initially in the circle around the Revolutionary Union
(subsequently, the RCP, USA) led by ex-SDS leader Bob Avakian.  But he and a
few other members of the RU close to him in Detroit and who were working
with him on his autobiography were dissatisfied with the RU's attempted
update of the old "Black Belt thesis" and its redefinition of the
African-American nation as a "nation of a new type" (meaning not one
centered in the rural South but among the urban proletariat).  They then
gravitated to the CP-ML.  After Mao's death in 1976 and the arrest of the
Gang of Four, the CP-ML supported Hua Koufeng and Klonsky had some momentary
fame visiting him in China and appearing in "Peking Review".  But it did not
last much longer than Hua did.  The RCP, USA split into two principal
factions, one led (and still led) by Bob Avakian (and which developed an
appalling personality cult around him) supporting the Gang of Four.  The
other called itself "The Revolutionary Workers Headquarters" -- which today,
after various mergers and splits, is called "Freedom Road Socialist
Organization".  For those really interested in pursuing arcane Maoist
minutae, the Freedom Road Web site has an intricate family tree:


P.S. Not only was I in Detroit in those days, I later got to know Harry
Haywood's second wife, Gwen Hall at Rutgers.  She's an important scholar on
the history of slavery, particularly in Louisiana.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Magnus Bernhardsen" <magnus.bernhardsen at nm.no>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Monday, November 27, 2000 9:55 AM
Subject: Harry Haywood

> > Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2000 00:57:05 -0500
> > From: Yoshie Furuhashi <furuhashi.1 at osu.edu>
> > Subject: Harry Haywood on the "Staggering Price of White Supremacy" (was
Re: renouncing whiteness)
> I bought Harry Haywods autobio "Black bolshevik" on a used-books sale here
in Oslo on saturday. Could you give me an assessment of him and the party he
was involved with, CP (m-l)?
> Magnus Bernhardsen

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