Too often grouped together, the black radicalism movement has a history wholly separate from the international communist movement of the early twentieth century. In Red International and Black Caribbean Margaret Stevens sets out to correct this enduring misconception. Focusing on the period 1919-39, Stevens explores the political roots of a dozen Communist organizations and parties that were headquartered in New York City, Mexico, and the Caribbean. She describes the inner workings of the Red International—the revolutionary global political network established under the Communist International—in relation to struggles against racial and colonial oppression. In doing so, she also highlights how the significant victories and setbacks of black people fighting against racial oppression developed within the context of the global Communist movement.
Challenging dominant accounts, Red International and Black Caribbean debunks the “great men” narrative, emphasizes the role of women in their capacity as laborers, and paints the true struggles of black peasants and workers in Communist parties.