Hammer and Hoe Alabama Communists During the Great Depression
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Description: Between 1929 and 1941, the Communist Party organized and led a radical, militantly antiracist movement in Alabamathe center of Party activity in the Depression South.Hammer and Hoedocuments the efforts of the Alabama Communist Party and its allies to secure racial, economic, and political reforms. Sensitive to the complexities of gender, race, culture and class without compromising the political narrative, Robin Kelley illustrates one of the most unique and least understood radical movements in American history. The Alabama Communist Party was built from scratch by working people who had no Euro-American radical political tradition. It was composed largely of poor blacks, most of whom were semiliterate and devoutly religious, but it also attracted a handful of whites, including unemployed industrial workers, iconoclastic youth, and renegade liberals. Kelley shows that the cultural identities of these people from Alabama's farms, factories, mines, kitchens, and city streets shaped the development of the Party. The result was a remarkably resilient movement forged in a racist world that had little tolerance for radicals. In the South race pervaded virtually every aspect of Communist activity. And because the Party's call for voting rights, racial equality, equal wages for women, and land for landless farmers represented a fundamental challenge to the society and economy of the South, it is not surprising that Party organizers faced a constant wave of violence. Kelley's analysis ranges broadly, examining such topics as the Party's challenge to black middle-class leadership; the social, ideological, and cultural roots of black working-class radicalism; Communist efforts to build alliances with Southern liberals; and the emergence of a left-wing, interracial youth movement. He closes with a discussion of the Alabama Communist Party's demise and its legacy for future civil rights activism.
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List price: $39.95
Copyright year: 1990
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 11/16/1990
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
|The Fred W. Morrison Series in Southern Studies|
|Prologue Radical Genesis: Birmingham, 1870-1930|
|the Underground, 1929-1935|
|an Invisible Army: Jobs, Relief, and the Birth of a Movement|
|in Egyptland: the Share Croppers' Union|
|Organize or Starve!: Communists, Labor, and Antiradical Violence|
|in the Heart of the Trouble: Race, Sex, and the Ild|
|Negroes Ain' Black--But Red!: Black Communists and the Culture of Opposition|
|Up from Bolshevism, 1935-1939|
|the Road to Legality: the Popular Front in Birmingham, 1935-1937|
|the Cio's in Dixie!|
|Old Slaves, New Deal: Communists and the Wpa|
|the Popular Front in Rural Alabama|
|the Democratic Front|
|Back to the Trenches, 1939-1941|
|the March of Southern Youth!|
|Epilogue Fade to Black: the Invisible Army in War, Revolution, and Beyond|