Ralph Bunche: The Man and His Times

Ralph Bunche: The Man and His Times

Ralph Bunche: The Man and His Times

Ralph Bunche: The Man and His Times

Excerpt

The essays brought together in this book analyze and assess major aspects of the career of the scholar and statesman Ralph Johnson Bunche.The essence of Bunche as scholar and statesman is epitomized in the observation made by one of the essayists that Ralph Bunche "will be remembered … as a major contributor to the development of black political and social thought in the twentieth century" and that "in the 1930s and early 1940s, [he] had anticipated many of the later campaigns and conflicts of the black struggle." This evaluation applies to Bunche both on the American and international scenes.

Bunche started out early in his life laying the foundation for his later significant contributions to efforts to better the conditions of life for people in America and throughout the world.In June 1927, Ralph Bunche, the only black graduate in the class, delivered the valedictory address at the commencement exercises of the University of California at Los Angeles, in which he said, "Man learns and knows but he does not do as well as he knows." Clearly, the young Bunche was concerned that knowledge be put to useful purposes.Bunche's life and career, as it evolved after he left UCLA, bore out this self-admonition.

Bunche's bent towards interrelating scholarship and activism emerges as one of the principal themes recurring in this collection of essays.

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