Global Movements Against Capitalism : African American Radicals

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Global movements against capitalism catalyzed African American radicals who understood themselves as imperialized people. They drew similarities with other struggling people where “Cuban, Chinese, and African revolutions influenced [their] radical thought” Black radicals of the Black Power movement believed African Americans were a nation amongst an international struggle towards self-determination and release from capitalist subjugation. Their resulting ideologies bore striking resemblances to revolutionaries in newly liberated nations such as China. Black radicals did not suddenly find themselves in this international movement. An African diaspora culture had long existed in the United States. Many African Americans did not see themselves belonging to the mainstream culture of the nation. Most were not even allowed to be apart of this culture. Black Power activists were nationalists and internationalists fighting for the nation of oppressed black people where “black people in the United States were living under domestic colonialism and…part of the worldwide anticolonial movement. They were connected to a common struggle against capitalism of global proportions. As a result, Black Power activists came to understand these movements as “uprisings of the ‘darker races’…against U.S. and European imperialism.” While black members of the Communist Party looked towards Russia as a symbol of the possibilities of equality during the 1930s, success of communist China encouraged Black Power activists in the 1960s. Black radical activists understood “[t]he status of the Chinese as people of color”. Although communist Russia offered hope for black people. Communist China was a nation of colored people actively speaking against American ... ... middle of paper ... ...ass issue” But as mentioned before, the issue of class was an extension of a long history of racism in the United States. Like the Communist Party, communist China treated black activists as pawns. Black activists never truly understood the realities in China. State sponsored tours created a selective view of China for black visitors. It could be understood that a true Chinese ally would have revealed both the negatives and positives of a Maoist interpretation of socialism. Moreover, China’s hypocritical support of organizations pushing inequalities in other parts of the world such as apartheid South Africa further proves selective support of black activists. The goal of an expanding communist China lied foremost in extending its ideologies and influence abroad. Embracing the black radical cause in the United States provided the perfect medium to achieve this goal.

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