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African Americans in Russia

Book Gallery

Cover of the book Russia and the Negro by Allison Blakely

Russia and the Negro : Blacks in Russian history and thought by Allison Blakely.

Washington, D.C. : Howard University Press, 1986.

DK34.B53 B55 1986

Blacks, Reds, and Russians : sojourners in search of the Soviet promise by Joy Gleason Carew.

New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, 2008.

DK34.B53 C37 2008

Beyond the color line and the Iron Curtain : reading encounters between Black and Red, 1922-1963 by Kate A. Baldwin.

Durham [N.C.] : Duke University Press, 2002.

E185.61 .B224 2002

Opposing Jim Crow : African Americans and the Soviet indictment of U.S. racism, 1928 - 1937 by Meredith L. Roman.

Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, 2012.

DK268.4 .R66 2012

Africa in Russia, Russia in Africa: three centuries of encounters. Edited by Maxim Matusevich.

Includes chapters:

  • African imprints on Russia: an historical overview by Allison Blakely
  • Black Hajj to "red Mecca": Africans and afro-Americans at KUTV, 1925-1938 by Woodford McClellan
  • The Russian routes of Claude McKay's internationalism by Kate Baldwin

DT38.9.S65 A344 2007

Caribbean crusaders and the Harlem Renaissance by Joyce Moore Turner with the assistance of W. Burghardt Turner ; introduction by Franklin W. Knight.

Especially chapter Harlem Goes to Moscow and Paris.

PS153.C27 T87 2005

A stranger in the village : two centuries of African-American travel writingEdited by Farah J. Griffin and Cheryl J. Fish.

Especially chapters about Nancy Prince, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Audre Lorde, Harry Haywood, and Andrea Lee.

E161.5 .S77 1998

Cover of the book A Black woman's odyssey through Russia and Jamaica : the narrative of Nancy Prince

A Black Woman's Odyssey through Russia and Jamaica : the Narrative of Nancy Princeintroduction by Ronald G. Walters.

New York : M. Wiener Pub., 1990.

E185.97.P94 A3 1990

Cover of the book Ira Aldridge by Sergei N. Durylin.

Ira Aldridge by Sergei N. Durylin.

Trenton, New Jersey : Africa World Press, [2014]

English translation of the book (Айра Олдридж) originally published in Russian in 1940.

PN2287.A457 D8713 2014

Poet i trahik: istoryko-literaturnyi narys druzhby velykykh myttsiv: Tarasa Shevchenka i Aira Oldridzha by Ivan Kulinych.

Kyïv : Naukova dumka, 1964.

A book about friendship of Taras Shevchenko and Ira Aldridge, published in Ukrainian in 1964.

PG3948.S5 Z6676

Uncompromising activist : Richard Greener, first black graduate of Harvard College by Katherine Reynolds Chaddock.

Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017.

Read about Greener's years in Russia in the chapter Our man in Vladivostok.

E185.97.G796 R48 2017

Cover of the book The Black Russian by Vladimir Alexandrov

The Black Russian by Vladimir Alexandrov.

New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, 2013.

about Frederick Bruce Thomas

DK34.B53 A43 2013

Cover of the book Chernyi Russkii, a Russian translation of The Black Russian by Vladimir Alexandrov

Chernyi Russkii: : istoriia odnoi sudʹby, a Russian translation of The Black Russian by Vladimir Alexandrov

Moskva : Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2017.

Black Man in Red Russia by Homer Smith. 

Chicago, Johnson Pub. Co., 1964.

DK267 .S625

 I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiographical Journey by Langston Hughes.

Chapters 3. Moscow Movie; 4. South to Samarkand; 5. Spring besides Kremlin.

PS3515.U269 Z5145 1956 + other editions

A Negro Looks at Soviet Central Asia by Langston Hughes (1934)

Louise Thompson Patterson : a life of struggle for justice by Keith Gilyard.

Chapter Madam Moscow, 1932.

E185.6 .G55 2017

Cover of the book Black on Red: My 44 Years Inside the Soviet Union by Robert Robinson

Black on Red: My 44 Years Inside the Soviet Union by Robert Robinson

DK34.B53 R63 1988

Cover of the book Chernyi O Krasnykh, a Russian translation of Black on Red: My 44 Years Inside the Soviet Union by Robert Robinson

Chernyi O Krasnykh, a Russian translation of Black on Red: My 44 Years Inside the Soviet Union by Robert Robinson

DK34.B53 R6317 1988

Pol' Robson, a Russian biography of Paul Robeson by Vladimir Zimianin (1985)

E185.97 .R63 Z55 1985

Andzhela v Sovetskom Soiuze (Angela [Davis] in the Soviet Union) by Olga Chechetkina.

E185.97 .D23 C45

Zhenshchiny. Rasa. Klass. Russian translation of Women, Race & Class by Angela Davis

Lily Golden. My long journey home.

Soul to soul : a Black Russian American family, 1865-1992 by Yelena Khanga with Susan Jacoby.

DK34.B53 K48 1992

Pro vsё by Yelena Khanga. 

DK34.B53 K479 2001

Book cover of Zakliatye druz'ia by Ivan Kurilla

Zakliatye druzʹia: istoriia mnenii, fantazii, kontaktov, vzaimo(ne)ponimaniia Rossii i SShA by Ivan Kurilla.

Especially chapter Amerikantsy v Rossii.

E183.8.R9 K87 2018

Dale E. Peterson. Up from bondage : the literatures of Russian and African American soul.

Durham [N.C.] : Duke University Press, 2000.

PG3021 .P48 2000


Black Russians: The Red Experience is a feature-length documentary by Yelena Demikovsky, produced by Sam Pollard. It is a story of Black American dreamers who left the United States in the 1920s and ‘30s in search of a better life in Stalinist Russia. Their descendants still live in Russia and America today.

Watch the trailer:


Movie Circus (1936)

"In Aleksandrov’s second musical film, Marion Dixon, an American star performing at the Moscow circus, falls in love with Russian performer Ivan Martynov, who introduces her to Soviet society. Franz von Kneishitz, Dixon’s abusive manager, tries to foil the romance by revealing Dixon’s secret: she has an illegitimate mulatto child. However, the circus audience welcomes the child without prejudice and Dixon remains in the land of the soviets with Martynov. The plot is based on Ilf and Petrov’s play Pod kupolom tsirka (Under the Big Top), which premiered at the Moscow Music Hall on December 23, 1934" (The Musical Comedy Films of Grigorii Aleksandrov : Laughing Matters (2009), edited by Salys Rimgaila; p. 123)

Fragment from the film, with Jim Patterson as a black baby:


Paul Robeson sings Song of the Motherland in Russian. The song debuted in the movie Circus (1936).


Paul Robeson sings Soviet National Anthem