The Shattered Civilization The Color Curtain; White Man, Listen!
Some time in December of 1954, Wright returned to Paris from Spain in order to join his family for Christmas. He remembers picking up a newspaper one day in his Paris apartment and reading about a proposed summit meeting of twenty-nine Afro-Asian nations scheduled for the following spring in Indonesia. The prospect of the Bandung Conference thrilled him:
My God! I began a rapid calculation of the populations of the nations listed and, when my total topped the billion mark, I stopped. . . . The despised, the insulted, the hurt, the dispossessed -- in short, the underdogs of the human race were meeting . . . it smacked of tidal waves, of natural forces. 1
Wright, at the recommendation of his friend, Gunnar Myrdal, got in touch with the editors of Preuves, and arranged through them to be sent to Indonesia as a press representative for the Congress of Cultural Freedom. Wright was convinced that the proposed Conference went beyond mere ideology. "The agenda, and subject matter," he asserted, "had been written for centuries in the blood and bones of the participants. The conditions under which these men had lived had become their tradition, their culture, their raison d'être." 2 Wright felt that his own experiences as a Western "colonial" who in the past knew "something of the politics and psychology of rebellion" admirably prepared him for his task. He next got in