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Between Homeland and MotherlandAfrica, U.S. Foreign Policy, and Black Leadership in America$
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Alvin B. Jr. Tillery

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801448973

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801448973.001.0001

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Protecting “Fertile Fields”

Protecting “Fertile Fields”

The NAACP and Africa during the Cold War

(p.72) 3 Protecting “Fertile Fields”
Between Homeland and Motherland

Alvin B. Tillery

Cornell University Press

This chapter turns to the activities of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) between 1935 and 1955. It challenges assumptions made by popular scholarship regarding the actions and motivations of the NAACP during this period, arguing that the NAACP always saw its anticolonial agitation as an extension of its politics on the home front. More importantly, the NAACP was able to use their anticommunist frame as a political means to push the Truman and John F. Kennedy administrations on the issue of colonialism in Africa. There is, in fact, evidence that bureaucrats within the Kennedy administration invited these groups into the policy formulation process to gain a greater degree of autonomy within the executive branch. This finding provides a strong challenge to the view that bureaucrats within the national security state have viewed black elite activism on behalf of Africa with antipathy.

Keywords:   NAACP, anticommunist anticolonialism, Cold War, colonialism in Africa, policy formulation process, black elite activism

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