During certain periods in the history of the black struggle, one of the questions that has repeatedly been raised is: What is the relevance of Marxism to black people? This question has prompted fierce debate among a number of groups and individuals. Some of the character and substance of this issue has been detailed by Harold Cruse in The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual. Far from being conclusive, though, many of the arguments advanced both pro and con on Marxism have wound up in a dogmatic defense of one organizational faction or another. This is particularly unfortunate when one considers that today, more than ever, it is essential for black and oppressed people to possess a solid theoretical understanding of the historical trends that have shaped American society. This understanding is necessary for future positive planning and programming by blacks.
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