Marxist IQ: a Juneteenth primer

BY:Communist Party USA| June 16, 2023
Marxist IQ: a Juneteenth primer


This Marxist IQ celebrates Juneteenth, a day marking the historic struggle that ended racialized chattel slavery in the U.S., demonstrating the role of the slaves in emancipating themselves. W.E.B. DuBois said a turning point in the Civil War was achieved when there was a general strike of the enslaved Black population. 2023 marks the third year in which it is finally being celebrated as a federally recognized holiday.

1. Although people in the U.S. are still largely taught that the abolitionist movement consisted mainly of idealistic white people, historians have shown that Black freedmen and freedwomen and escaped slaves played a large role in organized abolitionist societies. Historians now believe the percentage of free Black people and escaped slaves in the organized abolitionist groups was

a. 10%
b. 25%
c. 35%
d. 50%


2. Apologists for slavery in the North, like many reactionaries today who attack “woke” culture, argued that slaves were better off than white laborers, and that abolitionists were privileged hypocritical white people. In response to those arguments, escaped slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglas answered that

a. abolitionists should moderate their views.
b. abolitionists should vote for the Whig party who were a “lesser evil” than the openly 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 failed to organize Black workers and fight racism because it

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


4. The Communist Party USA has 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, and saw the struggle against racism as inseparable from the struggle for socialism.
d. argued that the struggle against racism had to be separated from the class struggle.


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

a. Jarvis Tyner
b. Charlene Mitchell
c. Angela Davis
d. Clarence Thomas

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.

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