Eyes off the Prize The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955

ISBN-10: 0521531586
ISBN-13: 9780521531580
Edition: 2003
Authors: Carol Anderson
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Description: As World War II drew to a close and the world awakened to the horror wrought by white supremacists in Nazi Germany, African American leaders, led by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), sensed the opportunity to  More...

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Book details

List price: $45.99
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 4/21/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 318
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 2.024
Language: English

As World War II drew to a close and the world awakened to the horror wrought by white supremacists in Nazi Germany, African American leaders, led by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), sensed the opportunity to launch an offensive against the conditions of segregation and inequality in America. The 'prize' they sought was not civil rights, but human rights. Only the human rights lexicon, shaped by the Holocaust and articulated by the United Nations, contained the language and the moral power to address not only the political and legal inequality but also the education, health care, housing, and employment needs that haunted the black community. But the onset of the Cold War and rising anti-communism allowed powerful Southerners to cast those rights as Soviet-inspired. Thus the Civil Rights Movement was launched with neither the language nor the mission it needed to truly achieve black equality.

Carol Anderson is an associate professor of African American studies and history at Emory University.

Introduction: the struggle for black equality
Beyond Civil Rights: the NAACP, the United Nations, and redefining the struggle for black equality
The struggle for human rights: African Americans petition the United Nations
Things fall apart
Bleached souls and red negroes
The mirage of victory
Epilogue: the prize

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