Marxist IQ: Black History Month

BY:Communist Party USA| February 1, 2022
Marxist IQ: Black History Month


February is Black History Month. This month is of great importance, as the forces of racism and reaction, led by the Republican Party, are attempting to make Black history once more invisible in the history of the United States. Today we see in Republican-controlled states legislation banning the teaching of critical race theory in schools along with campaigns to remove books dealing with racism from school and community libraries. There are even policies to give parents the “right” to determine what their children will learn. In writing about the revolutions of 1848, Karl Marx said, “The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.” The tradition of racism continues to weigh like a nightmare on the brains of too many people, a nightmare that the enemies of socialism and democracy seek to make real and permanent.

This Marxist IQ is dedicated to the defense of African American history as an essential part of American history.

1. While Americans were long taught very little about slavery except that the abolitionist movement consisted of idealistic white people, historians have in recent decades shown that free Blacks and escaped slaves played a large role in organized abolitionist societies and in armed groups who fought against the fugitive slave law and worked to encourage slave uprisings. They now believe the percentages of free Blacks and escaped slaves in these groups were

a. 10% in organized societies, 15% in fighting groups.
b. 25% in organized societies, 30% in fighting groups.
c. 35% in organized societies, 45% in fighting groups.
d. 50% in organized societies, 75% in fighting groups.


2. Apologists for slavery in the North often argued that slaves were better off than white laborers and that abolitionists were privileged hypocrites. These arguments are similar to the contentions made to this day by opponents of the civil rights movement of the 1960s that all subsequent civil rights legislation benefited Black people at the expense of whites. In response to such arguments before the Civil War, escaped slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass gave which of the following responses?

a. Abolitionists should moderate their views.
b. Abolitionists should vote for the Whig party, who were a “lesser evil” than the open pro-slavery Democrats.
c. He never heard anyone who argued that slaves were better off than poor white people volunteer to become a slave.
d. Abolitionists should launch a guerrilla war against the slaveholding South.


3. The Socialist Party had little interest and even less success in organizing Black workers and fighting racism because it believed that

a. Black people were a conservative force because of their religious beliefs.
b. Black people were farmers and not part of the working class.
c. Black people were workers indistinguishable from all other workers, and their problems would be solved in the future only under socialism.
d. white workers could be organized only if their racist prejudices were tolerated.


4. The Communist Party, USA, from its first years was both committed to and had significant success in organizing African American and other minority workers since the 1920s because it

a. saw Black workers as a revolutionary vanguard to overthrow capitalism.
b. advocated “Black capitalism” to advance Black workers in the system.
c. saw African American people as both an integral part of the working class and an oppressed people with special needs and demands, which made the struggle against racism inseparable from the struggle for socialism.
d. advocated establishing an African American homeland in Africa.


5. The Communist Party, USA, was the first party in U.S. history to regularly have African American candidates on its national ticket. Who was not a candidate on a CPUSA national ticket?

a. Jarvis Tyner
b. James W. Ford
c. Angela Davis
d. Walter White


6. Republican governors and state legislatures have sought to demonize and outlaw in public schools the teaching of critical race theory, although it is not taught in K–12 schools. Which of the following characterizes this academic theory?

a. CRT portrays all whites as racist enemies of African Americans.
b. It advocates a Black revolution as the only solution to racism.
c. It develops the concept of systemic racism as a central force in American history.
d. It advocates the dissolution of the USA.

Answers here.



    The Communist Party USA is a working class organization founded in 1919 in Chicago, IL.

    The Communist Party stands for the interests of the American working class and the American people. It stands for our interests in both the present and the future. Solidarity with workers of other countries is also part of our work. We work in coalition with the labor movement, the peace movement, the student movement, organizations fighting for equality and social justice, the environmental movement, immigrants rights groups and the health care for all campaign.

    But to win a better life for working families, we believe that we must go further. We believe that the American people can replace capitalism with a system that puts people before profit — socialism.

    We are rooted in our country's revolutionary history and its struggles for democracy. We call for "Bill of Rights" socialism, guaranteeing full individual freedoms.

Related Articles

For democracy. For equality. For socialism. For a sustainable future and a world that puts people before profits. Join the Communist Party USA today.

Join Now

We are a political party of the working class, for the working class, with no corporate sponsors or billionaire backers. Join the generations of workers whose generosity and solidarity sustains the fight for justice.

Donate Now

CPUSA Mailbag

If you have any questions related to CPUSA, you can ask our experts
  • QHow does the CPUSA feel about the current American foreign...
  • AThanks for a great question, Conlan.  CPUSA stands for peace and international solidarity, and has a long history of involvement...
Read More
Ask a question
See all Answer