Hammer and hoe : Alabama Communists during the Great Depression

by Robin D. G. Kelley

Paper Book, 1990


A groundbreaking contribution to the history of the "long Civil Rights movement," Hammer and Hoe tells the story of how, during the 1930s and 40s, Communists took on Alabama's repressive, racist police state to fight for economic justice, civil and political rights, and racial equality. The Alabama Communist Party was made up of working people without a Euro-American radical political tradition: devoutly religious and semiliterate black laborers and sharecroppers, and a handful of whites, including unemployed industrial workers, housewives, youth, and renegade liberals. In this book, Robin D. G. Kelley reveals how the experiences and identities of these people from Alabama's farms, factories, mines, kitchens, and city streets shaped the Party's tactics and unique political culture. The result was a remarkably resilient movement forged in a racist world that had little tolerance for radicals. After discussing the book's origins and impact in a new preface written for this twenty-fifth-anniversary edition, Kelley reflects on what a militantly antiracist, radical movement in the heart of Dixie might teach contemporary social movements confronting rampant inequality, police violence, mass incarceration, and neoliberalism.… (more)



Call number



Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c1990.

User reviews

LibraryThing member cblaker
I thought this book was terrific. It's a well-researched work on a topic very little study has been done on. Reading this book made me rethink my view of the civil rights period. The men and women discussed in this book paved the way for the civil rights movement. It's unfortunate this chapter in
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Southern history has been mostly forgotten. I really enjoyed this book and wish there was more written on this topic. Black Worker in the Deep South is a good supplement to this book. The author is mentioned in Hammer and Hoe and gives a more personalized perspective of the events mentioned in the Kelley book.
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Original publication date



0807842885 / 9780807842881
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