Angela Davis praises CPUSA for its history “of militant struggle”
National Women's Hall of Fame via AP

Dear Comrades,

I join you in celebrating the Communist Party USA and its one-hundred-year history of militant struggles for working-class democracy, for racial, gender and environmental justice, and for socialism, which is the only viable future for our country and the planet. I am proud to have spent many of my formative years in this organization and to have benefitted from its pioneering presence in and leadership of anti-racist and working-class campaigns.

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After persistent attempts to obscure the Party’s historical role and that of organizations like the Southern Negro Youth Congress in organizing industrial workers, sharecroppers and tenant farmers in the South, it is becoming increasingly clear that this work helped create a political terrain on which struggles against Jim Crow segregation would eventually thrive. Young scholars who have extricated themselves from the lingering influences of McCarthyism, are now uncovering the invaluable contributions of Communists.

Having visited Claudia Jones’ grave – immediately adjacent to the grave of Karl Marx – in Highgate Cemetery, I am especially happy that her ideas have now been incorporated into many histories of U.S. Black feminism. “An End to the Neglect of the Problems of the Negro Woman,” first published in Political Affairs in August, 1948, now appears in many anthologies and is considered a foundational historical text. There are many other examples – including the stunning interview of Esther Cooper Jackson, now 103, and then a leader of SNYC, in the recent film about the 1944 gang rape of Recy Taylor in Abbeville, Alabama.

This is a perilous moment – unions are under attack, racist assaults, and anti-Semitic violence are on the rise, ultra-right candidates have won office in the U.S. , Brazil, the Philippines, Israel, and in other countries. At the same time, there is increasing opposition to white supremacy, police violence, misogyny, and capitalist accumulation of wealth in the world. With its century-old history of struggle, the Communist Party is well-positioned to offer expertise, experience and Marxist analyses that will assist the resistance movements to grow and develop. At the very least we must defeat the Trump administration in 2020! I wish you success in the deliberations of the convention.

In Solidarity,

Angela Y. Davis

2019 marks a century since the founding of the Communist Party USA. To commemorate the anniversary of the oldest socialist organization in the United States, People’s World has launched the article series: 100 Years of the Communist Party USA. Read the other articles published in the series.

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Angela Davis
Angela Davis

Through her activism and her scholarship over the last decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in our nation’s quest for social justice. Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender equality.

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