Charles White’s distinctive, dignified portrait of Communist Party member William L. Patterson had graced the cover of the January 1951 issue of Masses & Mainstream. In November 1951 the New York-based Civil Rights Congress published We Demand Freedom!: Two Addresses by William L. Patterson, National Executive Secretary, Civil Rights Congress. Retailing at 10 cents, the 32-page brochure featured a reproduction of the same striking, dignified portrait of Patterson, in determined mood, with a visionary expression.
From the first address, “We Must Unite for Victory!”, a section titled “Racism for Export”:
Millions of my own people, pouring out of the South, fleeing cotton plantation-exploitation and the landlord’s rope and faggot, were caught in the ghettos where Northern real estate wolves literally devoured them. They found from their experiences that democracy had not only been betrayed by the smashing of the Reconstruction, but that, as well, the virus of white supremacy had been loosed, as poison gas is. That poison had been spread by church, schools, press and theatre and was consciously being carried North, East and West. Racism had become an interstate export commodity, later to be shipped abroad. (7)