This introductory chapter first sets out the book's purpose, namely to document a network of black women leftists who became politicized in the 1930s and 1940s, and defiantly maintained communist affiliations in the midst of a politically repressive “red scare” of the 1950s. This dynamic community of women included established Communist Party (CP) organizers such as Louise Thompson Patterson, Maude White Katz, Marvel Cooke, and Claudia Jones; authors Beulah Richardson, Lorraine Hansberry, and Alice Childress; and lesser-known activists such as Vicki Garvin, Yvonne Gregory, Thelma Dale Perkins, and Halois Moorhead. The remainder of the chapter reviews accounts of the work of these black women that emerged since the 1990s followed by an overview of the subsequent chapters.
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