[Marxism] Role of CPUSA in US Civil Rights Struggle

James Zarichny zarichny at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 3 13:42:02 MST 2005


I want to fill in some details of CP history in
Alabama based on conversations I had about 60 years
ago.
   Just before the Great Depression broke out, a Black
girl still in her teens began organizing a tenant
farmers union.  Her name was Carmella Foreman.  She
had no contact with any left group.  She was
remarkably successful and was able to call a major
strike of tenant farmers, big enough to be mentioned
in the national newspapers.  The CP read about it and
sent people to help her.  The movement became one of
the two major tenant farmers organizing in the South. 
Carmella and her frinds joined the CP, so the CP had a
base in southern Alabama when the Great Depression
hit.  The CP sent her to the Lenin school run by the
Comintern in Leningrad where she studied for a year.
   I met Carmella shortly after I got out of the army 
after World War II.  She was working as a union
organizer for the International Fur and Leather
Workers Union in Detroit.  At the time, there were a
number of tanneries in Detroit where mostly Black
workers converted animal hides into leather.  In my
conversations with her, I learned about the deep roots
the CP had in southern Alabama.
     Jim Zarichny


	
		
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