From November 1922 to June 1923, he visited the Soviet Union and attended the fourth congress of the Communist International in Moscow. There, he met many leading Bolsheviks including Leon Trotsky, Nikolai Bukharin and Karl Radek. Claude McKay details his experience in Russia in the essay "Soviet Russia and the Negro" published in the December 1923 issue of The Crisis Magazine.
McKay wrote the manuscripts for a book of essays called Negroes in America and three stories published as Lynching in America, both of which appeared first in Russian and were re-translated into English; McKay's original English manuscripts have been lost. When Russia was under the rule of communists led by Lenin he was invited to Russia during the reconstruction of the country.