April 24, 2024

113 years ago today on April 2, 1911, a revolutionary force was born in the person of Henry Winston in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. One of the giants in the American communist tradition, we commemorate his life, honoring a comrade and his legacy of a life-long devotion to the Communist Party.

Winston embraced the ideals of Marxism-Leninism, recognizing them as the essential tool for transforming society. Winston’s journey within the Communist Party USA was defined by tireless activity and rigor. His commitment to the cause saw him face many difficulties and rise through the party ranks, eventually assuming the mantle of leadership as chairman from 1966 until his death in 1986.

His strategic acumen and organizational skills were instrumental in navigating the challenges posed by McCarthyism and the Cold War era. Despite facing persecution and suppression – most notably in the Foley Square trial after which Winston was forced into the party’s underground for years – he remained steadfast, ensuring the party continued its mission of organizing the working class for revolution.

Winston’s contributions to the American Communist tradition were manifold, from his life-long practical work in the Party to theoretical contributions such as ​​Strategy for a Black Agenda (1973) and Class, Race, and Black Liberation (1977).

As we reflect on the life of Henry Winston, let us reaffirm our commitment to the struggle for which he so ardently devoted his life: the socialist revolution in the United States. We in the CWPUSA uphold his legacy that continues to inspire and guide us in the ongoing struggle for a world free of oppression and exploitation to be achieved through the triumph of the working class.

Henry Winston speaks in East-Berlin, 1963