May Day


May Day

New Masses, May 1931

Nicolai Cikovsky

Both black and white workers appear in a May Day march in this 1931 illustration. They walk in unison, organized in long lines stretching to the back of the image. Marchers wave flags, and appear with their mouths open, vocalizing their solidarity with the plight of the industrial worker. The diversity presented in this image underscores contemporary leftist concern with racial inequality. Not only do black workers represent about half of the marchers, they are pictured as leading the march. As is tradition on May Day, workers in the illustration march to demonstrate their numbers, strength, and determination. Rather than depicting the workers as individuals, the artist shows them as a unit working towards a common goal. This unity demonstrates the leftist message of “interracial labor solidarity” as a step towards racial equality.


Marie Hofer

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