Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Cousin James Lloydovich Patterson Get Well

My cousin James Lloydovich Patterson is now very ill residing in Washington D.C. James and I exchanged poetry , letters over the years losing touch a few years ago, Unfortunately our family is like most dysfunctional; I am trying to connect by reaching out in an effort to salvage our family, land, art, foundation of the Hagar family. With my cousin James who is a wonderful poet/writer is unable to maintain his own matters along with his mother Vera Aralova pieces of lost art is a tragedy.. As a family we need to stop all the in house fighting. Time to concentrate on what is important our family. James we need you and love you.

The Biography of my cousin James Lloydovich Patterson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

James Lloydovich Patterson (Russian: Джемс Ллойдович Паттерсон; born 17 July 1933) is a Russian writer and child actor of African American descent.

1 Biography
2 Selected works
3 References
4 External links

James Lloydovich Patterson was born in Moscow on July 17, 1933, the eldest of three children born to an African American immigrant to the Soviet Union and his Russian wife. Having arrived in the USSR as an unemployed actor looking for work during the Great Depression in 1932, James Patterson's father Lloyd Patterson, just twenty-two, decided to remain permanently after meeting and falling in love with James' mother, the theater artist Vera Ippolitovna Aralova.
James Patterson appeared in the Soviet cinema as a baby in the 1936 hit Soviet film Circus – where, parallel to his own life, he played the role of the dark-skinned child of an interracial couple being brought up in the manner of the politically egalitarian ideals officially embraced by the Soviet system.
Following Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union, James and his mother were evacuated to the east, while his father, who had obtained a position with Soviet radio as a presenter for English-speaking listeners abroad, remained on the job in Moscow. He died during the war after suffering serious wounds in the bombardment of the city in 1942.[1]
James was a member of the Komsomol and graduated from the Riga Nakhimov Naval School, a prestigious military academy for boys of high-school age, in 1951.[1] Lauded as a model cadet, he proceeded to receive further training as a submariner in Leningrad. Commissioned as an officer in the Soviet Navy, Patterson began serving with the Black Sea Fleet in 1955.[1]
By the 1960s, Patterson's professional ambitions had turned to writing. Still serving in the navy, he published his first literary debut, the poetry collection Russia. Africa in 1963. Leaving the Soviet Navy, Patterson graduated from the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in 1964, drawing inspiration from subjects as diverse as the sea, the beginning of the Space Age, and the racial tension around the time of the desegregation efforts of the American civil rights movement. Having authored a number of works by the late 1960s, he was admitted as a member of the USSR Union of Writers in 1967.
The sweeping political and economic changes during the breakdown of the Soviet Union were also accompanied by profound difficulties for the new Russian society; a frequent visitor to his father's homeland, James Patterson and his mother immigrated to the United States from the Russian Federation in the 1990s.

more info about the family...

Lloyd Walton Patterson
Born 1911, Westfield, NJ - Died 1942, Moscow, USSR

In the summer of 1932, 21 African-Americans - including the young Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes - departed for Russia with plans to make a movie, “Black and White,” in which they would realistically depict racial inequalities in America. Their often comic misadventures - caused principally by the Soviets’ glaring lack of knowledge of American race relations - caused the collapse of the program after only a few months.
Hughes and most others departed Russia, but among the few to remain was Lloyd Patterson. A graduate of Hampton Institute, he found in Russia the interior design jobs that he could not get in the U.S. He married a Ukrainian artist, Vera Aralova, and stayed in Moscow. Together, they designed stage sets, and he worked on some of Moscow’s most prominent buildings.

The Patterson family with a census taker in a 1938 photo from the Russian State Archives. Lloyd at center, Jimmy to his right. Vera Aralova standing.

They had three sons, one of whom, Jimmy, was to become famous throughout the Soviet Union for years to come for his role in a spectacular Stalinist film on race called “Circus.” Unlike his father’s failed movie project, the 1936 “Circus” was an extraordinarily popular film and young Jimmy Patterson became a hero of Soviet race relations. In the film, his mother, forced to flee America with her black child, finds comfort and stardom in a Soviet circus. The evil ringmaster tries to take advantage of her but she finds love with another performer. In the climax, the ringmaster reveals her shameful secret, but everyone in the audience embraces the child - literally - and sings to him, fully accepting him. In the film and in real life, Jimmy Patterson became living proof of how a real-life artist fled America to find greater tolerance and professional opportunity in the USSR, and at age four he was a star.

In a still from the movie, Jimmy with Lyubov’ Orlova (Marion Dixon) and her new love.
This more extravagant poster for the movie “Circus” points to the glitzy, blockbuster style movie it was in the 1930’s. Note the stylized version of Jimmy with the ringmaster, center left.

James Patterson eventually joined the Soviet Navy and also became a well-known poet. He lives today in Washington, DC.

Here he is pictured with a mask of the mixed-race poet in a 1992 National Geographic story on Aleksandr Pushkin.

This extraordinary portrait of Lloyd Patterson is a relic not just of a collapsed regime, but also of the largely unknown struggles of African-Americans. Few Americans know of those who immigrated to Russia seeking racial equality, and few left a mark on the Soviet people as much as the Pattersons did.

more information about my cousin James Patterson

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The other James Patterson
There is another James Patterson, a Moscow poet. His father was a member of group that Langston Hughes brought to the Soviet Union. Their purpose was to make a film, but nothing became of it. Instead, the father became a broadcaster in the North American service of Radio Moscow. He died during World War II during what his widow said was a German air raid but I think was a political killing by the secret police.
Here's a bit more about the Russian James Patterson in the middle of BIO Antero Pietila HOME


  1. I have a friend who worked in Russia in the late 80s who purchased a portrait of your cousin while he was there. Do you know of any organization who might be interested in purchasing it? It would be wonderful to see more information about your cousin on the internet as he is an important piece of African American and Russian history.

  2. Wonderful news! This is true he is a brilliant writer. Unfortunately we are trying to find missing pieces of art work. James has not been well as of late. I love more information about this portrait please be so kind to keep me informed. Thanks

  3. Good to hear from you. If you can email me directly I can forward you a photo of the portrait and a short article my friend has compiled. My email is

  4. Hello, I have read a little more about Jame Patterson and also the struggles of our Black people living in Russia and was would like to know is Jame Patterson doing? I hope he feels better. Peace.

  5. Thank you for the read and your concern is so very kind . James health is as best I know of not good and I spoke with my relatives in Washington where James is present his status is still such. Hoping to visit soon when I go to Baltimore.

    Peace Lydia

  6. Dear Lydia, I am journalist from Russia, "Arguments and Facts Weekly". Is it possible to contact with your cousin for interview?

    With many thanks,
    George Zotov

  7. The interview was already done by another journalist and published June 11th. I am returning to DC for a visit.

  8. Please feel free to contact me are view the article . I appreciate the interest regarding my cousin . I'm sure he overwhelm with rhe attention. Peace lydia

  9. Thank you so much. Dear Lydia, can you please, give your e-mail for connection about the interview with your cousin? I`m sure, he knows my newspaper very well.

    With regards,
    George Zotov

  10. My email is

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. How is your cousin doing these days/

  13. Hello I am the person who brought James and his mother to the America for an Art exhibition at Howard University and I lost touch with them after they moved! I So an article in the Washington Post with no mention of the reason they came! I tried to find him and learned his mother had become an ancestor! Is he still with us?

    1. Sorry for the delayed response. Yes he is alive and well..and living in D.C

      Peace and thank you.

      I can be contacted at