Well done to the Morning Star for the features on Rosa Parks and the Scottsboro Boys last week (M Star February 14).
This shows that the long 20th-century struggle for civil rights in the US began not in the 1950s but in 1931 with the Scottsboro case, as the late Mary Licht's piece showed.
The fight to save the Scottsboro nine from the electric chair was wholly due to the US Communist Party and the International Labour Defence and its campaign on behalf of the black youths, the youngest two being just 13 years old and the eldest 19.
At their retrial, one of the young white women retracted her rape allegation and spent several years campaigning to save the nine.
Running alongside the Scottsboro campaign was another involving a black youth in the south.
Angelo Herndon, a young communist, was arrested on the same charges as Licht - sedition for the "crime" of leading a demonstration of black and white unemployed people demanding work - and received a sentence of 18 to 20 years.
Herndon's lawyer Ben Davis, a young black man, as a result joined the CPUSA, becoming one of its leaders and for some years in the 1940s being elected Communist councilman for Harlem on the New York city council.
Herndon was eventually freed after a long struggle but it took many years before all of the Scottsboro Boys saw freedom.
I would urge anyone interested in the Scottsboro case to look out for Scottsboro Boy by Haywood Patterson, one of the nine who was never freed but had to make an amazing escape from the hell hole of his prison and died a hunted man.
Another more recent book is James Goodman's Stories of Scottsboro. It is to the eternal credit of the US Communist Party that from the late 1920s onwards they put black liberation at the forefront of their agenda.