The Black Struggle, the Communist Movement, and the Role of Black Women

The editorial collective is excited to release the first in our new series of Liberation School Interviews. Through video and text, these interviews with leading militant scholars, organizers, and activists, discuss their research and activities, concepts and approaches, and more. This doesn’t imply that the PSL endorses or shares every viewpoint or idea expressed; it means that we think they can provide us and others in the movement with new ideas, concepts, reference points, histories, approaches, contexts, and more.

This first Liberation School Interview is with Dr. Charisse Burden-Stelly and focuses on the historical and contemporary links between the Black and Communist struggles, the ways anti-communism and white supremacy reinforce one another, and why we must resist both. We get Dr. CBS’s thoughts on the relationship between capitalism, race, and gender, focusing on the contributions of Black women communists to various struggles.

About Dr. CBS

Dr. Charisse Burden-Stelly, or Dr. CBS. She is a critical Black Studies scholar of political theory, political economy, and intellectual history. Her research primarily focuses on transnational entanglements of U.S. racial capitalism, anticommunism, and antiblack structural racism. Together with Gerald Horne, she co-authored W.E.B. Du Bois: A Life in American History (ABC-CLIO, 2019). She is currently working on a book titled Black Scare/Red Scare: Antiblackness, Anticommunism, and the Rise of Capitalism in the United States. She also has a forthcoming book, co-edited with Jodi Dean, titled Organize, Fight, Win: Three Decades of Political Writing by Black Women Communists (Verso, 2022)

Dr. CBS is a member of the Coordinating Committee and the Co-Lead of the Research and Political Education Team for the Black Alliance for Peace. She is also the host of the podcast “The Last Dope Intellectual,” which is part of the Black Power Media Network.