Confronting the Veil: Abram Harris, Jr., E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph Bunche, 1919-1941

By Jonathan Scott Holloway | Go to book overview

chapter four
Recrafting the Amenia Ideal
RALPH BUNCHE, RACE, AND THE
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PUBLIC INTELLECTUAL

Existing Negro organizations are philosophical and programmatic paupers. They think and act entirely in a black groove. In a world in which events move rapidly and in which the very future of themselves and their group is at stake, they are unable to see the social forests for the racial saplings. They, like Hitler, even though for different reasons, think that “all that is not race in this world is trash.”

Ralph J. Bunche

Ralph Johnson Bunche (1903–71) is remembered as one who frowned on confrontation. Internationally famous for his activities as a peace broker for the Middle East, Bunche has gone down in history as a natural mediator who held his opinions closely and was skilled at political neutrality. Indeed, over the last thirty years of his life, as the modern civil rights movement emerged and then matured, an increasing number of activists thought Bunche was far too adept at avoiding political turmoil. In 1941, his colleague at Howard, Arthur P. Davis, had only disparaging words for Bunche. Making reference to the hair coverings that allowed one to distinguish the field slaves from those in the plantation house, Davis ob

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