All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Andrew S Baer

Advisory Committee Members

Amy Watson

Natasha Zaretsky

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences


This thesis is a comprehensive history of the Southern Negro Youth Congress including the social circumstances that led to its formation, the work and people of the organization, and its impact and influence on future civil rights organizations and Black leftist movements of the late 1960s. The Southern Black communist organization was formed in 1937 and officially disbanded in 1949. SNYC committed itself to unionizing, educating, registering people to vote, and exposing racial horrors in the South for Black southerners. In 1939, SNYC moved its headquarters to Birmingham, Alabama. The segregated city of Birmingham in 1939 was the industrial center of the South therefore the SNYC thought it was the perfect place to headquarter operations to fight for both labor rights and civil rights. Eugene “Bull” Connor, Birmingham’s racist Commissioner of Public Safety, and the United States government were direct threats to the work of the SNYC. Members and supporters were harassed, threatened, and arrested, and by 1949, the organization ended its operations. The Black communist organization is at the foundation of both the overall moderate Civil Rights Movement and Black leftist movements in the mid to late-twentieth century.



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