Essay Title: 

Cold War Civil Rights

March 29, 2016 | Author: | Posted in american history, history

After World War Two , the United States government faced a problem Against Soviet pressure in Asia , Africa , and Latin America , it wanted to convince the world , especially new nations emerging from colonialism , of America ’92s moral leadership . Often , it found that its most exasperating opponents were some of its own people . The Unites States was profoundly racially segregated . In many states , blacks were legally relegated to separate and profoundly unequal schools . Businesses followed social or legal rules which barred or degraded blacks . Courts often functioned with a callousness and brutality of authoritarian [banner_entry_middle]

br regimes . In Cold War Civil Rights , Mary Dudziak shows how international needs prompted the United States to respond to its racial problems

In America ’92s long struggle to deal with race , leaders had often brought foreign influence to bear . Frederick Douglass had appealed for help in England , arguing that the whole human family needed to address this problem .11 . Mary L . Dudziak , Cold War Civil Rights (Princeton , New Jersey : Princeton University Press , 2000 , at

. 6 . Because this is the single source cited in this review , all further citations will be to the page only . During World War I , the war to make the world safe for democracy , black leaders had sought to make America safe for Americans but to little avail . World War Two marked the turning point . Fighting against regimes that spouted racist ideologies while still segregating its armed forces , America found it had to confront its own moral dilemma (pp . 7-8 , especially as this dilemma took on strategic implications Axis propaganda mocked the notion that non-whites could expect justice from racist America (Pp . 8-9 ) While some voices were raised , the problem went largely ignored . America had not yet committed itself to the ideals that it had sacrificed so much to secure for others (Pp 9-11

The Cold War hobbled the use of foreign influence to aid the civil rights effort . Anyone airing domestic issues overseas might now be linked , often wrongly , to communist agitation (P . 12 ) Still , a space remained , in which civil rights was driven by international concerns America found it had to project an increasingly detailed image abroad International pressures forced the United States to show itself confronting its racial problems . Often , this meant that international concerns drove the federal government and major social and political leaders to deal with domestic racial issues (Pp . 13-14 ) Inherently national leaders in international affairs were thrust into prominence in civil rights struggles . Professor Dudziak points out that her emphasis on the roles of leaders ’93should not be seen as an effort to privilege a top-down focus as ` ’91the ’92 story of civil rights history ’94 (P . 14 ) The vignette with which she opens the book illustrates how leaders were involved . In 1958 , a black handyman in Marion , Alabama was charged with stealing less than two dollars in change from a white woman . Charged solely with robbery , he was convicted by an all-white jury and sentence to death . The case caused an outcry around the… [banner_entry_footer]


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