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Tue, 09.17.1918

The Crusader Magazine is Published

*On this date in 1918, The Crusader magazine is celebrated. During the early 20th century, it was one of the most prominent and vital black communist publications.

It was the work of Cyril Valentine Briggs. It was published initially with the support of a West Indian merchant and later with the backing of the Communist Party. In December 1918, in exchange for financial aid, The Crusader became the official magazine of George Well Parker's Hamitic League of the World, a pan-African nationalist group. Parker proclaimed Africa was the cradle of civilization and that the black race was superior to all other races. In 1919 The Crusader began to take on an anti-imperialist orientation, linking colonization and racial oppression to capitalism.

In October 1919, The Crusader announced the formation of the African Blood Brotherhood (ABB) and its commitment to the anti-racism of international Marxism and communism. In June 1921, The Crusader became the official journal of the ABB, presenting communism as the solution to racial and economic inequality. Hostility between Briggs and Marcus Garvey rose steeply toward the end of 1921, resulting in black communists such as Claude McKay urging the party to withdraw its journal support.

With communist party support removed, The Crusader ceased publication. Its last issue was dated January - February 1922. Many publications had lavish printed photographs of Blacks, especially hauntingly beautiful black women. The digital archive of The Crusader consists of scans made entirely from the 1987 Garland reprint of The Crusader.

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