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The Black Cultural FrontBlack Writers and Artists of the Depression Generation$
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Brian Dolinar

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617032691

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617032691.001.0001

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(p.2) (p.3) Introduction
The Black Cultural Front

Brian Dolinar

University Press of Mississippi

This book begins by presenting the common understanding that the Communist Party hindered black cultural expression during the 1940s. The chapter shows that the Communist-led Left promoted several cultural organizations to draw black cultural workers into its orbit. Most important was the National Negro Congress (NNC) to which numerous black artists and writers contributed their talents. The NNC was a coalition of civil rights groups and labor organizations. It was officially launched in 1936 at a national conference in Chicago. It reached out to the newly formed Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), which heavily recruited African Americans into the labor movement. NNC organizers also worked on the cultural front by convening panels with artists and writers at its conferences, organizing campaigns against discrimination in Hollywood, and holding mass rallies to fight discrimination.

Keywords:   black cultural expression, Communist Party, Communist-led Left, cultural organizations, National Negro Congress, NNC, Congress of Industrial Organizations, CIO

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