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Claude McKay, Code Name SashaQueer Black Marxism and the Harlem Renaissance$
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Gary Edward Holcomb

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780813030494

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813030494.001.0001

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Code Name Sasha, “My Real Name”

Code Name Sasha, “My Real Name”

(p.23) 1 Code Name Sasha, “My Real Name”
Claude McKay, Code Name Sasha

Gary Edward Holcomb

University Press of Florida

This chapter examines Claude McKay's autobiographical novel A Long Way Home which in certain respects comes only second to his FBI files in respect to a dependable account of his time in Europe and North Africa. The purpose of this chapter is to assess whether McKay's Along Way from Home can be treated as a complete and reliable source of McKay's queer black Marxism. This chapter looks closely into the text's passionate denunciation of Communism and the resultant generally complacent view of the memoir, prefiguring the Communist repudiations of writers like Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, and James Baldwin, to serve as the archetypal African American refutation of international leftism. For over a half century, critics have seen A Long Way Home as not a truly committed Marxist work, wherein he is deemed to have long suspended his association with subversives. This chapter looks into the core of McKay's memoir and seeks to pinpoint the perceived residue of his queer black Marxism which is manifested by the survival of McKay's “real name” Sasha.

Keywords:   Claude McKay, McKay, black Marxism, Sasha, Communism, Marxist

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