Harry Raymond

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Harry Raymond real name was Harold J. Lightcap. During his long career on the U.S. left he'd done time for violent rioting in Union Square (he was arrested in 1930 along with Communist leader William Z. Foster), had reportedly served prior sentences for burglary and auto theft, and had been married to a radical labor organizer from Russia, Rose Nelson (alias Rose Lightcap), who was indicted in 1950 on a charge of conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government.

As a reporter for the Communist Party USA paper, the Daily Worker, Raymond covered everything from the race riots in Columbia, Tennessee, to the Willie Earle lynching to the Smith Act trials.[1]

Cleveland meeting

The Political Buro of the Central Committee of the Communist Party USA called a special meeting in Cleveland, Ohio for Saturday, April 17th, 1937. Due to the delay in the arrival of some of the leaders invited, the meeting did not convene until 9 A.M. Sunday, April 18th. It was held in the Jewish Labor Center, 55th and Scoville Streets, Cleveland. Among those present were: Jack Stachel, F. Brown , Clarence Hathaway, Elizabeth Lawson and Harry Raymond (of the "Daily Worker" staff), from New York; William Weinstone, District Secretary for Michigan; John Williamson, District Organizer for Ohio; Ned Sparks, District Organizer for Pittsburgh; John Steuben, Section Organizer for Youngstown; June Croll, from the Women's Department of the national office in New York; Morris Childs, District Organizer for Illinois; Israel Amter and Charles Krumbein, District Organizer and District Secretary, respectively for New York, and Jack Johnstone and Robert Minor, members of the Central Executive Committee of the Communist Party. There were several others present, who were not identified.

Elizabeth Lawson was formerly a student of the University of Minnesota and recently was editor of the Southern Worker, using the pen name of "Jim Mallory," June Croll of the Women's Department was formerly the wife of Carl Reeve, son of "Mother" Ella Reeve Bloor, but was by then the wife of Langston Hughes, "radical negro poet" of Boston. Quite a number of others were invited but could not be present because of the pressure of work in their respective communities.

In opening the session Stachel stated that the purpose of the meeting was to endeavor to clarify a number of problems, among them:

(1) the political situation in the light of the Supreme Court decision on the Wagner Act; (2) the prospect for further work by the Communist Party in the C.I.O. and the A.F. of L. and (3) the Party position today on the negro question. Despite the poor attendance, because of the short notice, it was decided to discuss these matters and then direct the Political Buro to prepare a letter to District and Section Committees on the results of the discussion. The first reports on the political situation were made by Stachel and Brown. report on a special meeting of the CP US Political Buro that was held in Cleveland on 17 April 1937. The meeting was called to discuss (a) the impact of the Supreme Court's Jones & Laughlin decision; (b) Party work in the AFL and the CIO; and (c) Party work among African-Americans.[2]

Communist press director

In 1949 Harry Raymond was Communist Party USA Press director, for Alabama-Mississippi-Tennessee. [3]



  1. THE EYES OF WILLIE MCGEE: A Tragedy of Race, Sex, and Secrets in the Jim Crow South, By Alex Heard, Chapter 10
  2. [1] John Frey's papers in the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. Probably work of an FBI informant that had been leaked to Frey.
  3. " 100 things you should know about communism series", HUAC 1949