Scope and arrangement
The Harry Haywood Papers, 1948-1981, consists of typescripts of articles, speeches and book manuscripts, correspondence, photocopies of journal articles, and materials relating to the Communist Party USA and several of its offshoots, most frequently concerning their theoretical positions on blacks in the United States. Correspondence in the CPUSA series include a folder of letters to and from Cyril Briggs, founder of the African Blood Brotherhood. The National Question subseries refers to the CPUSA's position on the right of self-determination for African Americans. The dissatisfaction of black and Puerto Rican CPUSA members who hoped to build a new Marxist-oriented party is documented in the Provisional Organizing Committee for a Communist Party (POC) subseries as is Haywood's internal party battles with the general secretary of the POC, Armando Roman.
In the October League papers are Central Committee and Executive Committee meeting reports and minutes, status reports on student work and Marxist education campaigns, and preparations for a Third Congress in 1975. The Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) series has files dealing with several subjects, including the internal struggles over organization and party leadership, and issues leading up to the Second Congress in May 1981; agendas, minutes and resolutions from the Afro-American Commission; remarks by Haywood on the National Question (March 1981) and reports on the party's work in the South.
The Writings series consists of articles and essays, speeches, and Haywood's autobiography. The Clippings, Fragments and Miscellanea series contains typescripts and drafts of articles written by people other than Haywood; miscellaneous notes by Haywood; Stalinist Workers Group Bulletins; journals; miscellaneous correspondence; and clippings from various newspapers, including a January 1953 issue of Paul Robeson's "Freedom" newspaper.