Who Was Haywood Hall, Jr.?

College of Political Knowlerdge

Subject:  Black History

In my years as an ultra radical I came upon works by many people within the early movements of the 20th century……I found a man that I could look up to for his work with the poor and minorities….

As per my tradition I try to find and profile an African-American leader especially someone that most Americans are unfamiliar with their contributions for various reasons……this time it is Haywood Hall, Jr….aka Harry Haywood………

I would like to thank blackpast.org for the following…….

A radical theoretician, anti-colonialist, labor organizer, and civil rights activist, Harry Haywood was one of the most prominent and influential African American Communists of the twentieth century.  Haywood, the son of former slaves, was born in South Omaha, Nebraska in 1898. He migrated to Chicago after serving in World War I and organized community defense during the 1919 Chicago race riot. In 1922 he joined the African Blood Brotherhood and in 1925 became an official member of the CPUSA. The following year Haywood traveled to Moscow where he studied at the International Lenin School. During this time he made his greatest intellectual contribution to the American Communist movement: the 1928 and 1930 Comintern “Resolutions on the Negro Question,” which theorized the right of self-determination for African Americans in the southern Black Belt through the creation of a sovereign black nation state. Although never pursued in practice, “self-determination” for African Americans was adopted as the official line of the Comintern and became the rhetorical touchstone for CP activism in African American communities throughout the 1930s.

After returning to the United States in 1930, Haywood helped found of the CP’s League of Struggle for Negro Rights (LSNR). He was active in LSNR campaigns against lynching, tenant evictions, segregation, and legal frame-ups and served as the organization’s president from 1934 to 1936. From 1927 to 1938 he was a member of the CPUSA’s Central Committee and served on the Communist Party Politburo from 1931-1938. In 1937 Haywood joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and fought alongside Loyalists during the Spanish Civil War.

Haywood became increasingly estranged from the Party in the post World War II era. He spoke out against Earl Browder’s accommodationist line, as well as Nikita Khrushchev’s destalinization reforms in the mid 1950s. When the Party officially disavowed the theory of self-determination in the American Black Belt in 1957, Haywood denounced the decision and was expelled from the Party two years later. He spent the remainder of his life helping to build the Mao-aligned New Communist Movement and mentoring a new generation of black radicals in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Author of scores of essays, pamphlets, and treatises on a variety of topics, Haywood’s major works are Negro Liberation, published in 1949, and his 1978 autobiography, Black Bolshevik. Harry Haywood died on January 4, 1985.

Most people have never heard of this person simply because he was a….wait for it…..Communist.  I hate to tell people but most of the early labor organizers and activists were either Communist or Socialist……regardless of ideology they were instrumental in bring about equality and fairness in the labor sector….and Haywood was I true and important leader of that movement…..he needs to be remembered for the actions he took and the deeds he did to progress African-Americans forward in a society that would have preferred to keep them marginalized…….

What’s That Sound?

While I was otherwise distracted with gathering my wits for the legal battle I had yesterday……there was a story blowing in the wind…….

Sounds like a heavy sigh to me…….after many months of speculation on the approaching debt limit….there were all too many opinions on how it would play out……and Tuesday it played out in a way that few could have foreseen…….

House Republicans backed away from a battle over the government’s debt cap today and permitted Democrats to drive quick passage of a measure to increase the government’s borrowing cap without any concessions from the White House. The 221-201 vote came hours after Speaker John Boehner announced that his fractured party would relent and not seek to add other items to the must-pass legislation. Twenty-eight Republicans voted yes. The bill would permit Treasury to borrow normally for another 13 months; the Senate is expected to pass it tomorrow.

Here’s a look at how it’s being played:

  • New York Times: “It effectively ended a three-year, Tea Party-fueled era when a series of budget showdowns raised the threat of debt defaults and government shutdowns, rattled economic confidence and brought serious scrutiny from an international community questioning Washington’s ability to govern.”
  • Wall Street Journal: It’s “a tactical retreat by Republicans stymied by their internal divisions.”
  • The Hill: “Boehner’s decision drew heavy criticism from conservative groups, many of whom said Boehner needs to be replaced. Many noted that the so-called ‘Boehner rule’ now appears dead—that was the informal name for Boehner’s effort to extract spending cuts in exchange for debt ceiling hikes.”
  • Politico: “It’s also a clear sign of the House Republican Conference’s inability to move beyond fiscal fights and lays in plain view the leadership’s inability—or unwillingness—to corral votes for their priorities.”

Step back and think about what happened Tuesday……could this be a dawn of a new day in DC?  Or was this just a momentary lull…..time to decide on the next fight to pursue?

John Boehner ended the debt ceiling wars, but his fellow Republicans didn’t exactly throw him a parade. The Washington Post today has an excruciatingly awkward account of how Boehner broke the news to his caucus at a private breakfast yesterday morning. “Listen—we’re going to move forward,” he said, standing before a room of drowsy Republicans. “We’re going to get this done.” He said he wouldn’t even consider floating another proposal—he had made up his mind to go with a clean bill. The Republicans sat up, stunned, and silently stared at him. No one booed. No one cheered. Boehner stood waiting for any reaction at all, then finally shook his head and walked to his seat. “I’m getting this monkey off your back, and you’re not going to even clap?” he said as he went, after which one House veteran says there was “how do I say it, a polite golf clap.” Meanwhile, at a private lunch yesterday, Senate Republican leaders were urging their members to drop any filibuster attempts and let a vote take place today, Politico reports. One GOP senator said that most at the lunch were more concerned about “getting the hell out of town” before the coming snowstorm arrived. The response from the right has mostly been muted. The Wall Street Journal today ran an editorial urging Republicans to repeal the debt ceiling entirely and “finally end this periodic self-torture.”

Thoughts?