When nine young black males, one as young as 12, were falsely accused of raping two white women near Scottsboro, Alabama, in 1931, their case became an international cause celebre largely due to the activism of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA). Here, the Daily Worker, the CPUSA’s newspaper, announces one of the many demonstrations sponsored by the Party in support of the Scottsboro defendants. Despite the efforts of first the CPUSA and later the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a more mainstream civil rights organization, eight of the so called “Scottsboro Boys” were convicted and sentenced to death following a trial based on questionable evidence and riddled with prejudice and procedural error. Eventually the death sentences were overturned, but not before five of the defendants served long prison terms for a crime that never occurred.
Source: Daily Worker, October 20, 1934—Scott Molloy Labor Archives.