Over the last decades of the Soviet Union, darker-skinned or darker-haired Soviet southern or eastern migrants in Leningrad, Moscow, and other Slavic cities became the target of racial epithets. Newcomers heard calls of “blacks” (chernye), “black snouts” (chernomazye), or “black asses” (chernozlopy). “Black”-themed insults extended to relatively fair-skinned traders from the Caucasus, though they were not applied, as they were elsewhere in the industrialized world, to South Asians, African Americans, or Africans; the latter were characterized as “negry,” a moniker that became racialized but lacked the bite of the terms hurled at fellow Soviet citizens. Blackness became a discourse and a category with which to articulate the anxieties of European, or white, Russians toward growing migration from their former colonial peripheries.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1086/688835
Journal Journal of Modern History
Sahadeo, J. (2016). Black snouts go home! migration and race in late Soviet Leningrad and Moscow. Journal of Modern History, 88(4), 797–826. doi:10.1086/688835