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A Black Communist in the Freedom StruggleThe Life of Harry Haywood$
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Harry Haywood and Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816679058

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816679058.001.0001

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(p.3) Prologue
A Black Communist in the Freedom Struggle

Harry Haywood

Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

University of Minnesota Press

In this prologue, Harry Haywood talks about an eventful date in his life: July 28, 1919. On that day, he literally stepped into a battle that was to last the rest of his life. Exactly three months after mustering out of the U.S. army fighting in World War I, he found himself in the midst of one of the bloodiest race riots in U.S. history. For Haywood, it was certainly a most dramatic return to the realities of American democracy. He had a job as a waiter on the Michigan Central Railroad at the time. In July, he was working the Wolverine, the crack Michigan Central train between Chicago and New York. On July 27, the Wolverine left on a regular run to St. Thomas, Canada. Passing through Detroit, they heard news that a race riot had broken out in Chicago. The following day, Southside Chicago, the Black ghetto, was like a besieged city.

Keywords:   race riots, Harry Haywood, democracy, Michigan Central Railroad, Wolverine, Chicago, New York, St. Thomas, Canada, Southside Chicago

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