Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist League

Negro National Colonial Question


Within the general territory which makes up the Negro Nation, a majority of the population is made up of Negro men and women. In the territorial core of the Negro Nation – that is, the Black Belt, there is a continuous stretch of overwhelming Negro majority. However, as Lenin stated, “But the national composition of the population is one of the most important economic factors, not the only one and not the most important. Towns for example, play a most important economic role under capitalism.....To separate the towns from the villages and area which economically gravitate toward them for the sake of the ’national factor’ would be absurd and impossible. Marxists therefore must not take their stand entirely and exclusively on the ’national territorial’ principle.”[1]

History and economic development has absolutely linked the destinies of the surrounding area with the Black Belt. Therefore we see that a large minority of the people of the Negro Nation are Anglo-American. Because of imperialist terror and bribery, the power of white chauvinist ideology and the resulting separate lines of social development forced upon the Negro people and Anglo-American national minority members of the Negro Nation, the common historical development of all the people of the Negro Nation has been obscured. Slavery was a system that involved more than the African slave. That African slave was the base of slavery just as the Negro people are the base of the Negro Nation. The slave system involved a number of Anglo-European and Indian slaves, and of course, the non-slave elements who made their living serving slavery in some capacity – or hacking out a living along side it. The point is, that the Negro Nation arose on the basis of the slave system, and cannot help but involve those people who were in some way involved with that system. So-called color differences (racism) have been emphasized by the reactionary forces of the U.S.N.A. imperialists to prevent the development of a united revolutionary national movement for the liberation of the Negro Nation and the establishment of socialism.

The Anglo-American national minority of the nation can be roughly divided into three major sections: First, the toiling poverty racked elements that trace their history back for generations as proletarians, independent farmers, tenant farmers, etc. Second, there are the home grown petty capitalists (Anglo-American) and phoney politicians. A third and less prominent section of the Anglo-American national minority, consists of those petty bourgeois and bribed working class elements that constitute the real social base of the white chauvinist imposter politician and other Wall St. front men.

The first or toiling and proletarian element is by far the largest and most important segment of the Anglo-American national minority. A real struggle must be waged to unite this oppressed Anglo-American national minority with the Negro vanguard of the proletariat in the struggle for Negro national liberation and socialism.

Many so-called revolutionaries and upstanding progressives in the Anglo-American nation deny the many examples of outstanding proletarian and anti-imperialist fighters that have emerged in times past, and are emerging today from the ranks of the Anglo-American national minority.

These enemies of the Negro people point solely to the role played by the Anglo-American national minority as the ever present “jailers” of the Negro people for the Anglo-American imperialists. That aspect of the Anglo-American national minorities development, the field bosses, prison guards, foreman, informers, Sheriffs, KKK members and other tools of oppression cannot be denied. In fact, it was to a degree, this role that made them part of the Negro Nation. But we must realize that the hiring of these tools of oppression and the chauvinist divisions within the Negro Nation, have been made possible not by the low level, but real bribery of the Anglo-American national minority workers in relation to the Negroes. By bribed, we mean that the Anglo-American national minority workers of the nation have in general received a few more of the bare necessities of life, and more social rights and privileges than their Negro brothers. A quick glance at any statistics reflecting living conditions, will quickly confirm this fact. This bribery has consisted in the main of a few more crumbs provided by imperialist exploitation of the Negro people. As imperialism collapses, so does the material base for the bribery of the working and toiling Anglo-American national minority of the Negro Nation.

The poverty of the Anglo-American national minority in the Negro Nation is, in spite of the bribe, a direct result of the colonial position of the Negro people and nation. Imperialism has constructed the social relations between the Anglo-American national minority and the Negro people, so that it often appears that it is the Anglo-American national minority and not social, economic and political relationships of imperialism, that is the oppressor and exploiter of the Negro people. During the period of slavery as today, the economic and social well being of the Anglo-American national minority is dependent upon the position of the Negro majority. This inter-twined history, has bound class brothers and sisters of different nationalities together and molded them through periods of antagonisms and cooperation into a single nationality with a single destiny.

This common history is far too long to recount, but in addition to the facts already mentioned, some of the realities which show the common background in the Negro Nation are: the fact that both Negro and Anglo-American were slaves (Anglo-Americans were generally indentured rather than chattel slaves) in the earliest days of the plantation system; both Negro and Anglo-American were subjected to centuries of oppression and hardship relative to the workers in the Anglo-American nation; many Anglo-American toilers were slaughtered along with their “freed” Negro brothers in the Reconstruction struggles for land and freedom; during the post-reconstruction years, the Populist movement and later the first WW, saw numerous examples of cooperation between ex-slaves and Anglo-American toilers (See Foster, The Negro People in American History, International Pub. N.Y., 1954, pp. 381-383). During strikes by the Brotherhood of Timberworkers in 1912 and throughout the United Mine Workers organizing drive in the Negro Nation, which involved militant strikes in 1904, 1908, 1917 and 1920, Negro and Anglo-American workers battled the imperialists together in united unions until they were finally beaten back by the open fascist terror of the KKK and the U.S.N.A. government; in the 1920’s and 1930’s there was further cooperation involved in organizing sharecroppers unions and the CIO and massive Unemployed Councils which grew up throughout the South under the leadership of brave fighters. (See Haywood, Negro Liberation, Intern. Pub., N.Y., 1948, p. 208) More recent times have seen increased unity between Negro and Anglo-American workers in the ship and building construction industries, hospital industries and other struggles where the working class is beginning to feel more and more the raw edge of fascism.

Hard times and the threat of extermination have promoted unified action between Negro and Anglo-American workers before, and hard times are leading in the same direction today. But the struggle for national liberation and socialism requires more than spontaneous cooperation based on a common desperation or reformist battles which lead into one blind alley after another. It will require a high degree of class consciousness and internationalism on the part of both the Negro majority and the Anglo-American national minority in the Negro Nation. This consciousness can only be built around a united struggle for Negro National Independence that is closely linked with the fight for Socialism in the Negro Nation and the U.S.N.A. as a whole.

Unlike the Negro people, these members of the Anglo-American national minority who migrate from the Negro Nation are usually integrated into Anglo-American society within a generation or two. The previously described color factor in the U.S. of North America prevents the integration of the Negro national minority. Through the use of this color factor, no Negro toiler can gain equal rights or real freedom. However, under these circumstances, U.S.N.A. imperialism cannot prevent the escape of the Anglo-American national minority nor too much hinder their assimilation into Anglo-America. However, this integration is not a simple matter for these workers. They must rapidly exchange their folk ways and idiomatic expressions for those of Anglo-America. More and more they have been returning to the South after a bitter taste of no jobs and hard times slum life. There has been many a verse written like those in the song, “Detroit City” which describes the hard life and deep isolation suffered by the Anglo-American national minority from the Negro Nation in their struggle to integrate themselves into the Anglo-American nation.


[1] Lenin, V.I., “Questions of National Policy and Proletarian Internationalism”, Critical Remarks on the National Question. F.L.P.H., Moscow, p. 59