March 9: Carol Anderson on “The Danger of the Single Story: African Americans’ Anticolonialism in the Early Cold War”

We know the story. Historians have told it for more than forty years. After the onset of the Cold War, fierce anticolonialism emanated solely out of the black left, which paid dearly for opposing U.S. imperial policy. Paul and Eslanda Robeson, W.E.B. Du Bois, W. Alphaeus Hunton, and even, in his own twisted way, Max Yergan came up against the Leviathan of the Red Scare and lost. Meanwhile African American liberals, such as the NAACP, turned their backs on Asians and Africans determined to be free, colluded with the Truman administration’s support of European empires, and received, in return a few pieces of civil rights tokens. We know the story. It’s just not true.

Carol Anderson is an associate professor of African American Studies at Emory University. She is the author of Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African-American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955 (Cambridge University Press, 2003), which was awarded both the Gustavus Myers and Myrna Bernath Book Awards. Her latest book, published by Cambridge in 2014, is Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Miami University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Political Science, International Relations, and History. She earned her Ph.D. in history from The Ohio State University.

The seminar meets at 4:00 p.m. at the Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room, Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop.

The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center. It meets weekly during the academic year. See www.nationalhistorycenter.org for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as webcasts and podcasts. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support.  Reservations requested because of limited seating.

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