My research examines Richard B. Moore’s role in the Communist party’s defense of theScottsboro Boys. It demonstrates Moore’s commitment to African Blood Brotherhood(ABB)
ideals, critical to his participation and activism during the trial, rather than a Communistidealism more regularly attributed to him and the case.
The Scottsboro trial is usually presented as the Communist Party USA’s
duringthe 30s, but my presentation shows an ABB directive and ambition which expressed an acuteenergy, mobilized to produce the release of the 9 defendants.The scope of my research begins pre-
1920s, exploring Moore’s developing ideas about socialism,
his clandestine participation in the African Blood Brotherhood, and then his vital role in the
absorption of that group into the Communist Party USA. It highlights Moore’s integral role
during the Scottsboro trial and political organizing in Harlem around the case.
Richard B. Moore, reportedly an early Americancommunist who worked closely on the Scottsboro
trial, is instead a prominent member of the African
Blood Brotherhood, an indigenous and vitalHarlem organization whose critical influence ismistakenly overlooked.