Charisse Burden-Stelly and Jodi Dean, "Organize, Fight, Win: Black Communist Women's Political Writing" (Verso, 2022)


Black Communist women throughout the early to mid-twentieth century fought for and led mass campaigns in the service of building collective power in the fight for liberation. Through concrete materialist analysis of the conditions of Black workers, these women argued that racial and economic equality can only be achieved by overthrowing capitalism.

The first collection of its kind, Organize, Fight, Win: Black Communist Women's Political Writing (Verso, 2022) brings together three decades of Black Communist women’s political writings. In doing so, it highlights the link between Communism and Black liberation. Likewise, it makes clear how Black women fundamentally shaped, and were shaped by, Communist praxis in the twentieth century.

Organize, Fight, Win includes writings from card-carrying Communists like Dorothy Burnham, Williana Burroughs, Grace P. Campbell, Alice Childress, Marvel Cooke, Esther Cooper Jackson, Thelma Dale Perkins, Vicki Garvin, Yvonne Gregory, Claudia Jones, Maude White Katz, and Louise Thompson Patterson, and writings by those who organized alongside the Communist Party, like Ella Baker, Charlotta Bass, Thyra Edwards, Lorraine Hansberry, and Dorothy Hunton.

In this interview, I spoke with the editors of this collection, Charisse Burden-Stelly and Jodi Dean. 

Charisse Burden-Stelly (@blackleftaf) is Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Political Science at Wayne State University. She is the author, with Gerald Horne, of W. E. B. Du Bois: A Life in American History.

Jodi Dean (@Jodi7768) is a professor in the Political Science Department at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. She has written or edited thirteen books, including recent Verso title Comrade: An Essay on Political Belonging.

Catriona Gold (@cat__goldis a PhD candidate in Geography at University College London, researching security and mobility in the 20-21st century United States. Her current work concerns the US Passport Office's role in governing Cold War travel.

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Catriona Gold

Catriona Gold is a PhD candidate in Geography at University College London. She is currently researching the US Passport Office's role in governing Cold War travel, and broadly interested in questions of security, surveillance and mobility.

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