Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Document Type



This thesis investigates the role of African American Communists in the struggle for Black liberation during the interwar period. Making a vital intervention into the field, this work attempts to debunk the harmful Cold-War stereotype of African American Communists as “puppets of Moscow” while simultaneously engaging critically with the relationship between Black liberation and international Communism. Drawing on a vast array of secondary and archival sources, this work charts a course between a vision of the Comintern as an avenging anti-colonial angel, and a cynical force disinterested in Black Liberation.

Tracing the developing relationship between Black intellectuals and the Comintern from the heady days immediately following the First World War, to the Golden age of Interwar Communism in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and finally the disillusionment of the Stalinist era; this thesis interrogates the role of autonomous space, intercommunal alliances, and self-determination in a way that centers the agency of African American Communists.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Andrew Rosa, Ph.D.


Africana Studies | History