The south hated the communist party, the communist party preached equality for blacks. This is where racists people got the misconception that liberal and communism are the same. They are not.
Help from Communist Party and NAACP
After a demonstration in Harlem, the Scottsboro case came to the attention of the American Communist Party. Chattanooga Party member James Allen edited the Communist Southern Worker, and publicized "the plight of the boys". The Party used its legal arm, the International Labor Defense (ILD), to take up their cases, persuading the defendants' parents to let them champion their cause, and retaining attorneys Joseph Brodsky and George W. Chamlee.
The NAACP also offered to handle the case, offering the services of famed attorney Clarence Darrow. However, the Scottsboro defendants decided to let the ILD handle their appeal.
Chamlee moved for new trials for all defendants. Private investigations took place, revealing that Price and Bates had been prostitutes in Tennessee who regularly serviced black and white clientele. Chamlee offered Hawkins affidavits to that effect, which the Judge forbade him to read out loud. The defense argued that this evidence proved that the two women had likely lied at trial. Chamlee offered the Scottsboro uproar as further evidence that the change of venue should have been granted.
Excerpt of letter from NAACP Chairman Roy Wilkins to William L. Patterson, Executive Director of the CPUSA front organization, Civil Rights Congress. The letter reads in part, "We remember that in the Scottsboro case, the NAACP was subject to the most unprincipled vilification. We remember the campaign of slander in the Daily Worker..." p.43
In 1928 the 6th Congress of the Comintern in Moscow resolved that the black population of the American South was a subject nation, thus capable of engendering a "national revolutionary movement," and ordered the CPUSA to give high priority to mobilizing blacks. In Toward Soviet America William Z. Foster wrote, "the right of self-determination will apply to Negroes in the American Soviet system. In the so-called Black Belt of the South, where the Negroes are in the majority, they will have the fullest right to govern themselves." The party made the 1931 Scottsboro lynching case its favorite publicity issue, making the maltreatment of African Americans a matter of international concern for the first time, and locked it into the American radical-liberal political agenda.
The communist front organization, the International Labor Defense (ILD), solicited and raised a considerable amount of money for the defense of the "Scottsboro Boys" but the full amount was not used for the Scottsboro defendants. Several prominent African-American intellectuals and celebrities, such as Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright and Frank Marshall Davis became radicalized at this time as a result of the Scottsboro case, and the official Moscow directed position of the CPUSA to overthrow state and federal governments had an appeal because of maltreatment in the courts and the ever present threat of lynching.
After 1930 the Party strongly supported creation of a Negro Soviet Socialist Republic, weeded out racism among its white members and tried to enlist a large black membership. It enlisted only a small black membership, which tried to take over the Civil Rights Movement. Only one major figure in the Civil Rights Movement was a Communist, Stanley Levison (1912-1979), who was a top advisor to Martin Luther King.