U of L professor chronicles experiences of African Americans who immigrated to Russia
2/8/2009 Louisville Courier-Journal
Post-Soviet Russia today is often thought of as a corrupt oligarchy that dominates neighboring republics through economic and military means.
But in the early 20th century, some considered Russia an egalitarian paradise, its Bolshevik Revolution a beacon of hope for the world's downtrodden -- including some African-Americans.
Hundreds of black professionals frustrated by racism in the United States -- farmers, engineers, teachers, artists and intellectuals -- rushed to this new land of socialist opportunity between the 1920s and 1940s, seeking the respect and freedom denied them in the land of their birth.
They're the subject of "Blacks, Reds, and Russians: Sojourners in Search of the Soviet Promise" (Rutgers University Press, 2008), a new book by Joy Carew, an associate professor of pan-African studies at the University of Louisville.