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Freedomways was a black targeted magazine run by the Communist Party USA.

Communist creation

The Communist Party USA created Freedomways Magazine as a propaganda vehicle with which to reach into the black intellectual and academic community. It was established in the mid-1960's by members of the CPUSA and well-documented sympathizers/supporters. It billed itself as "A Quarterly Review of the Freedom Movement."

Newly declassified documents from Operation SOLO, an FBI program to infiltrate the Communist Party USA, reveal that a journal called Freedomways, which was influential in the black community for decades, was subsidized by the Soviet and Chinese Communist Parties.

Freedomways has been called “one of the most influential African-American literary and political journals of the 1960s and 1970s.” It began in 1961 and ceased publication in 1986.

During the 25 years it served as a propaganda organ for the CPUSA and Soviet front organizations such as the World Peace Council, Freedomways published articles by such figures as:

Communist funding


Freedomways grew out of a Soviet campaign, launched after the Russian revolution, to exploit the “Negro question” in the U.S. and manipulate blacks and members of other minority groups for Communist purposes.

The SOLO documents demonstrate that the Soviet Union illegally provided funding, reportedly more than $28 million, to the CPUSA. The documents are based on FBI informants, Morris Childs and Jack Childs, who had infiltrated the highest levels of the CPUSA and had participated in meetings with foreign communist parties.

President Ronald Reagan awarded Morris Childs (and posthumously, Jack Childs) with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their work for the U.S.

An FBI memo dated March 3, 1959, which summarized a meeting between CPUSA officials and the Soviet Communist Party, reveals that CPUSA official James Jackson had asked Soviet officials about “the possibility of a Negro magazine dealing with theoretical questions.” Jackson was the party secretary in charge of “Negro and southern affairs.”

Freedomways came into being two years later.

An FBI memorandum, dated July 6,1961, refers to funding for the CPUSA from the Communist Parties of the Soviet Union and China, including $5,000 to CPUSA chairman Gus Hall “for Negro publication ‘Freedomways Associates, Inc.,’” the publisher of Freedomways.

A June 8, 1962, FBI memorandum refers to $3,000 “To Isodore Wofsy for transmittal to Esther Jackson, CP functionary for use of Negro magazine ‘Freedomways.’” Wofsy was another important CPUSA member.

Esther Jackson, wife of James Jackson, was a CPUSA member who served as managing editor of Freedomways.[2]


The publication Freedom was published monthly by Freedom Associates, 53 West 125th Street, New York 27, New York. Its editorial board consisted of Paul Robeson, Chairman; Revels Cayton, Shirley Graham, Alphaeus Hunton, Modjeska Simkins, Louis Burnham, and George B. Murphy, Jr..

It is interesting to note that the printer's symbol number 178 which appears on the publication in order to identify the place where it was printed and the local of the printer's union, is also found on virtually every other piece of Communist Party propaganda printed in the New York area.[3]

Staff and Writers

The following contributed to the October 1975 Special Issue, "Afro-American Youth - The Road Ahead":

Articles by: (not listed on the cover)

Other writers included;


  1. AIM Soviets Funded Black “Freedom” Journal, Cliff Kincaid — May 4, 2012
  2. AIM Soviets Funded Black “Freedom” Journal, Cliff Kincaid — May 4, 2012
  3. [1]
  4. Scope of Soviet Activity in the United States, series of Hearings known as Part 40 & 41/A including "1955 Report of the Commission on Subversive Activities of the Territory of Hawaii" (SISS), 1957 and "Testimony of Jack Kawano", HCUA, 195???
  5. AIM Soviets Funded Black “Freedom” Journal, Cliff Kincaid — May 4, 2012