3 pm to 5 pm
“A. Philip Randolph & the World: The Politics of Black Anticolonialism, Antifascism, & Anticommunism”
Eric Arnesen, George Washington University
This paper builds upon recent scholarship on African-American internationalism to explore the evolving vision and politics of the black labor and civil rights activist A. Philip Randolph, who addressed issues of anticolonialism from the World War I era onward, antifascism in the mid-1930s through the mid-1940s, and anticommunism from 1940 to the late 1950s. Randolph’s distinctive views put him at odds with Garvey’s nationalists, communist anticolonialists, antiwar socialists, and the U.S. government. The paper reconstructs Randolph’s understanding of and engagement with the wider world – particularly with European fascism and colonialism and the Cold War in the Third World – to highlight the complexities of black internationalism and the diversity of black radical thought on global affairs.
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