The James Patterson I’m going to tell you about isn’t the famous mystery writer. Instead, he’s the son of an American Communist who visited the USSR in 1934, loved it, and decided to stay. The American Communist was allowed to marry a Soviet woman because she was from a family of a major counterintelligence officer, so it was considered OK for her to… erm, get infiltrated, so to speak, by a black American defector.
James was one of the kids of the Soviet woman and the black American Communist. As a baby, he starred in a Soviet blockbuster movie about a black kid persecuted by international fascist racists. In the movie, the black baby is lovingly welcomed in the USSR. In the closing scene, representatives of all Soviet ethnicities pass him around in a circus arena and sing lullabies in their national languages.
The funny part was that one of the Soviet ethnicities featured in the movie was Jewish. Back in 1934 it was still OK to show Jews onscreen. The famous Jewish artist Shmuel Mikhoels holds the black baby in the movie and sings to him in Yiddish. Obviously, after World War II, it became unacceptable to acknowledge the existence of Jews, let alone mention Yiddish. Mikhoels was murdered by the regime. He was excised from the movie. As a result, the poor black baby ends up kind of flying across the space in the circus arena where the Jewish artist originally stood.
After the USSR collapsed, James Patterson and his Soviet mom emigrated back to the US.