African Americans and Independence Struggles in Asia and Africa | Wilson Center

African Americans and Independence Struggles in Asia and Africa

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Webcast Recap

How effective were African-American leaders in decolonization and nation-building in Africa and Asia? To the radical left in the 1960s, those in the black political center were sell outs, not radical enough, not fighting hard enough for justice. According to Emory University Professor Carol Anderson, the black political leadership was engaged in a high-wire act. To fight for global freedom the way the left wanted was to risk annihilation, but not using the methods of power leveraging and influence would alienate the radical black constituency, which demanded immediate and visible action. The difficult decisions taken by the NAACP redounded for decades.

Carol Anderson is an Associate Professor of African-American Studies at Emory University and has recently completed a fellowship at Harvard University's Charles Warren Center. Her research and teaching has focused on the intersection of domestic and international policies on issues of race, justice, and equality. She is the author of Eyes off the Prize: The United Nations and the African-American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955, which was published by Cambridge University Press and awarded both the Gustavus Myers and Myrna Bernath Book Awards.

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  • Christian F. Ostermann

    Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
    Woodrow Wilson Center