End graham believe me she declared i can see more

This preview shows page 113 - 115 out of 364 pages.

end Graham. “Believe me,” she declared, “I can see more clearly why theRussians closed all the churches! Come the revolution—that would be thefirst thing I should advise—throughout the south. These fat, thieving, ig-norant preachers! All of them should be put to work” (emphasis in origi-nal).22By 1943 Graham was not only thinking in terms of a “revolution”in the United States but also sympathizing with the Russian variety of so-cial transformation and even imagining that she might play more than anadvisory role. This was a self-fulfilling prophecy. But Graham’s decisionto resign from her NAACP position despite the fact that she had raisedmore than $8,000 in 1943 alone was not the apparent result of an ideo-logical pull toward Communism; rather, she felt the “urge to do creativework.”23While working at the Open Door Community Center in Brooklyn, shebegan participating in political campaigns against police misconduct andfor better housing, health care, and jobs for the local residents. Remark-ably, she also found time to turn out a series of “biographical novels,”as she called them, on such figures as George Washington Carver, PaulRobeson, and Frederick Douglass. While these popular biographies hadhelped Graham accumulate more money than she had ever made to that
Shirley Graham Du Bois103point, they also placed her more closely in circles with local and interna-tional Communist figures who were guiding her artistically and politically.Among these prominent men were actor Paul Robeson, writer HowardFast, city councilman from Brooklyn Pete Cacchione, and, most notably,W. E. B. Du Bois, who though still far from being a Communist, was alsotaking an increasing interest in Red activity in the United States.Cacchione was also there as an emotional comfort to Graham whenher son Robert died while living in California in 1944. This devastationpropelled Graham into a more intense work frenzy, since she continuedchurning out biographies and even entered a doctoral program at NewYork University (though she did not finish). As she noted in a letter, “Myentire life was work.”24Her close interaction with these Communist menwas critical to winning her political loyalty to the Communist Party, be-coming more overt by 1947. In that year not only was she on a HUAC listof Red “fronts,” but she was also photographed at a rally alongside Fastand Cacchione to save the Communist-initiatedNew Massesfrom beingdiscontinued during the post–World War II crackdown on Communistsin the United States, commonly referred to as the McCarthy period.25Graham’s personal and political affinities for the Communist movementbecame increasingly intertwined as Du Bois—her intimate “flame” sinceshe had returned to New York in 1943—was marginalized and altogetherousted from the NAACP in 1948 for challenging the Cold War thrustof the organization’s leadership. Relentlessly attacking the United Statesfor human rights violations, W. E. B. Du Bois and Shirley Graham bothsupported third-party candidate Henry Wallace of the Progressive Party

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

End of preview. Want to read all 364 pages?

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Term
Spring
Professor
N/A
Tags
Feminism, Jeanne Theoharis, Dayo F Gore

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture