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March 19, 2015.  Throughout the 1930’s, the Communist Party intensified support efforts for African Americans.  The Communist Party attempted to address.

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Presentation on theme: "March 19, 2015.  Throughout the 1930’s, the Communist Party intensified support efforts for African Americans.  The Communist Party attempted to address."— Presentation transcript:

1 March 19, 2015

2  Throughout the 1930’s, the Communist Party intensified support efforts for African Americans.  The Communist Party attempted to address unemployment and job discrimination.  Some African Americans were attracted to the party because they were ant-racist and were an interracial group.  The Communist Party expelled racists, and gave key positions to African Americans.

3  James Ford, and African American, actually ran as the party’s vice-presidential candidate in the 1932 election.  Few blacks actually joined the party  Black workers were drawn to the party because it criticized white labor unions for not admitting black workers to their unions.  The communists blamed capitalism for the low wages of black and white workers.  They also blamed the leaders of labor for allowing business owners to continue the policy of “divide and rule.”

4  The Scottsboro case brought the attention of the Communist Party to many African Americans. Using what you know from your reading (page ) as well as the film, answer the question that follows in paragraph form:  In no less than 3 paragraphs, summarize the events that eventually led to the convictions of 5/9 Scottsboro Boys. In your opinion, please describe why you believe the accused were either guilty or innocent. Provide specific case details that would support your claim.  Turn this essay in along with questions at the end of PPT.

5  The ILD rushed to the aid of the “boys” by appealing the convictions and death sentence to the Supreme Court.  In Powell v. Alabama, the court ruled that the nine had not been given adequate legal counsel, and that the trial had taken place in a hostile environment.  The accused right to due process as set forth in the 14 th Amendment had been violated.  This ruling would eventually help future civil rights cases.  The Supreme Court ordered a new trial.  At the end of the new trial, another guilty verdict was reached.

6  In Norris v. Alabama, the Supreme Court ruled that all Americans have a right to a trial by jury of their peers.  The fact that no blacks were on the Scottsboro juries denied the equal protection of the law, which the 14 th Amendment guaranteed.  The court again ruled that blatant racial exclusion was evident and ruled for another trial.

7  Throughout the Scottsboro case, the NAACP tried to wrest control of the case from the Communist Party.  The Communist Party used marches and demonstrations, and denounced many cautious middle-class organizations.  The NAACP tried to appeal as a respectable organization for African Americans.  Some black men and woman applauded the party.  Other blacks ridiculed the party and called it a lie.  The Communist Party asserted that the NAACP wanted to see the Scottsboro 9 convicted.

8  John P. Davis organized the NNC.  It was modeled after the Joint Committee on National Recovery (JCNR).  The JCNR was a coalition of black groups that fought for fairness early in the New Deal.  The NNC was to be a federation of black groups on a national scale.  Over 800 delegates representing 585 organizations attended the first meeting in Chicago.  Notably, the NAACP was absent from the meeting.

9  A. Phillip Randolph was elected president and John P. Davis became executive secretary.  Group agreed not to be dominated by any one political faction.  Eventually had branches in over 70 cities.  NNC was short on funds  The NNC was able to gain for its members better jobs, housing, and adequate relief work.  John Davis also believed that the Democratic Party would never allow African Americans to benefit from the New Deal.  Eventually, the increasing importance of the communist within the NNC alienated most other groups, and the NNC became a front group for the communists.

10  The 1930’s saw many gains for African Americans, but also some of the worst racism, presumably backed by “science.”  In 1932, the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) initiated a major study of syphilis, a deadly sexually transmitted disease.  For the subjects of its program-entitled the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Male Negro.  The USPHS recruited 622 black men, all of them poor and many illiterate.  Of the 622, 431 had advance cases

11  Syphilis is a bacterial infection usually spread by sexual contact. The disease starts as a painless sore — typically on your genitals, rectum or mouth. Syphilis spreads from person to person via skin or mucous membrane contact with these sores.  After the initial infection, the syphilis bacteria can lie dormant in your body for decades before becoming active again. Early syphilis can be cured, sometimes with a single injection of penicillin. Without treatment, syphilis can severely damage your heart, brain or other organs, and can be life-threatening. ◦ Can eventually cause paralysis, insanity, and heart-failure ◦ -Mayo Clinic

12  The Tuskegee Study was called a treatment program, but was actually an experiment.  The experiment was designed to chart the progression of the disease.  The doctors hired a black nurse, Eunice Rivers, who convinced the men that they had “bad blood” and needed special treatments.  Penicillin was available by 1940 to treat the patients, none of them received it.  All men were given placebos(fake drugs with no effect-often a sugar pill), which was said to cure them.

13  Initially, the program was to last on 6-12 months, but was repeatedly extended.  Men received physical exams and spinal taps, where fluid was examined from their spines.  In a few cases, these spinal exams often resulted in paralysis or death.  For almost 40 years, the doctors studied the men and performed autopsies on them when they died.  None were ever treated.  The public did not learn of this study until 1972.

14  The advisory panel concluded that the Tuskegee Study was "ethically unjustified"--the knowledge gained was sparse when compared with the risks the study posed for its subjects. In October 1972, the panel advised stopping the study at once. A month later, the Assistant Secretary for Health and Scientific Affairs announced the end of the Tuskegee Study.  The black Attorney General Fred Gray of Alabama sued the U.S. government on behalf of the survivors families and settled out of court for $9 million

15  1) Essay  2) Why were some African Americans attracted to the Communist Party?  3) Who did the Communist Party blame for the problems in America during the 1930’s?  4) What was the ILD and how did they help during the Scottsboro case?  5) What was the NNC? Why did it eventually fail?  6) What was the Tuskegee Study? How long did it last?  7) Why was the study unethical?  8) What eventually happened to the study?  9) What compensation was given to study participants?


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