Critically reviewing the extent of the historical literature presented on black political movements that have taken place in the United States, a precursory overview of the data suggests that little consideration has been given to black political movements when compared to black political thought. Thus, when a review of the literature reveals a large number of credible sources on a particular black political movement, it seems reasonable to argue that this political movement had, or continues to have, a notable impact on the development of social, economic or political discourse. Such is the case with black Marxism.With the realization that black Marxism is indeed a prominent black political movement that has captured the attention of numerous scholars, there is a clear impetus to examine this political movement such that a more integral understanding of the process can be garnered. Utilizing this as a starting point for research, this investigation examines the development and impact of black Marxism through the consideration of two key points. First, this investigation examines how capitalist society created a system of oppression that fostered the growth of black communism. Second, this investigation aims to consider how communism impacts certain issues such as the nationalization of culture and the Negro question which are critical for understanding the oppression that created the system of black Marxism.
[...] While African Americans clearly understood the problems of racial oppression that served as the impetus for gross social inequalities, the ideologies supported by the Communist Party coupled with what black scholars noted on the development of black identity, retracted the growth of black Marxism in the early twentieth century. When it first began, the black Marxism movement is best conceptualized as a movement toward the integration of black and white labor in an effort to improve social and economic conditions for all workers. [...]
[...] Critically reviewing what has been written about the development of black Marxism in the US, it becomes quite evident that African Americans have consistently faced a broad history of oppression that has subsequently prompted gross social, political and economic inequities for this population. In an effort to systematically review this history and understand the application of Marxist ideologies, one author makes the following observations: In the 1800s that analysis meant that wage labor could not be free until slave labor was destroyed. [...]
[...] Thus, it is in these ideologies that one can see the importance of creating autonomy in the larger context of the black community. Black Marxism was therefore to shift its focus in the 1960s and 70s to a means for African Americans to support their cause independently of the process of white/black cohesion. Discussion When examining the overall black Marxist revolution, it becomes evident that there were a host of challenges facing blacks experiencing social disenfranchisement and those that had been able to achieve some degree of social integration. [...]
[...] As noted by this author, “Nonetheless, the black Socialists' insistence in the early 1920s on viewing the ‘Negro question' as a question of class shielded them from framing the oppression of blacks as a radical or national question, the latter a theoretical error that fostered a host of nationalistic myths about black identity and liberation that dominate Left thinking until the 1960s” (20). What this demonstrates is that the specific context in which communism answered the “Negro question” clearly had an impact on the development of black identity and political activism until the Civil Rights Movement. [...]
[...] Arguably, when examined in this context, it becomes evident that there were a host of issues that served as the impetus for the development of black Marxism in the early and mid-twentieth century. The system of capitalism as it existed in the US had, and continues to have, an impact on the development of racism. As noted by one author, racism some see as ‘endemic' to some or all segments of white labor developed and persists because labor, to date, has been unable to create an alternative economic system and must, at best, still perceive its strategies within the parameters of capitalism” (Wilhelm, 104). [...]
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