Abstract These two rare documents – one previously unpublished, the other published almost a century ago, never republished and still almost completely unknown – capture some key dimensions of the revolutionary thought of Claude McKay in the pregnant years after the Russian Revolution and the Great War. A committed revolutionary socialist and early advocate of Bolshevism, McKay urged Marcus Garvey, the founder and leader of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, the largest black organization the world has ever seen, to forge alliances with progressive whites in the common struggle against capitalism and imperialism while maintaining the autonomy and independence of the black movement. The second document, written for Garvey’s newspaper, Negro World, tells the poignant story of black (Caribbean, African and African American) and other non-white colonial veterans of the war living in London. McKay, residing in London at the time (he lived there for more than a year – 1919–21) highlighted the transformation in their political consciousness as a consequence of the racism they experienced while serving in the war and while living in London. The radicalization of these soldiers portended an upsurge in the anti-colonial struggle, McKay reckoned. And he was right. The import of these documents extends beyond the person of Claude McKay. They capture the pain as well as the yearning and optimism of millions around the world in the global turmoil that emerged out of the blood-soaked debris of the Great War and the aftermath of the October Revolution a century ago.