ISO Study Group
Mark Naison’s study of the work of the Communist Party in Harlem during the Great Depression is essential reading for revolutionaries. Naison shows how the CP, starting with a mostly white cadre (who often held meetings in languages other than English!) built a massive, multiracial organization that eventually recruited thousands of African Americans.
The CP spearheaded a grassroots, direct action struggle against institutional racism thirty years before the Civil Rights Movement became a mass movement in the South. The narrative of their work in Harlem is bound up with the story of the Russian Revolution.
The rise of Stalin in Russia had a profound effect on the Party’s work — sometimes the party was able to advance because of their politics, and sometimes despite them. Naison paints a picture of rather amazing results revolutionaries were able to obtain in extremely difficult circumstances, as well as the party’s heartbreaking downfall and rupture. This discussion group will attempt to grapple with the meaning of the rise and fall of the CP as a serious force in African American politics during the Depression and the lessons this history might offer for for revolutionaries today.
Join the ISO for a discussion group of Communists in Harlem During the Great Depression by Mark Naison.
Thursday, January 23 6-9pm
CUNY Graduate Center, rm 5/414
365 Fifth Avenue
Bring picture ID to enter building