A History of American Communists (full documentary)

CPUSA presidiential nominees 1936
Earl Browder and James W. Ford, Communist Party USA presidential and vice-presidential nominees in the 1936 presidential election

Seeing Red: stories of American Communists is a 1983 Academy Award-nominated documentary film directed by Julia Reichert and Jim Klein detailing the greatly overlooked history of the Communist Party of the United States and its supporters, which at its peak in the early 1940s boasted nearly 100,000 members. Founded in 1919, the Communist Party USA split from the Socialist Party of America following the Russian Revolution and went on to play a defining role in the American Labor Movement and the early part of the American Civil Rights Movement throughout the 1920s, 30s and 40s. It was the first political party in the United States to be racially-integrated and played a pivotal role in opposition to the racist framing of the Scottsboro Boys, nine falsely accused Black teenagers in Alabama sentenced to death for a crime they did not commit. By the 1950s, however, with the intensity of the Cold War, immense political persecution and sabotage by the FBI amid the Second Red Scare, and Nikita Khrushchev’s controversial revelations, the party dwindled to under 6,000 members (with more than 1,500 of them being FBI informants). Seeing Red tells the stories of the dedicated women and men who fought for unionization, equal rights and the 8-hour workday, who dreamed of an America where workers had rights to collective bargaining and to be free of discrimination by their employers. Watch the feature film in its entirety below:

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