Harlem, mon amour #2


Original Caption:

New York -- Ghana President Kwame Nkrumah addresses crowd in front of the Hotel Theresa in Harlem. Nkrumah declared the 20,000,000 American negroes constituted the strongest link between the people of North America and Africa. The rally was the last official activity attended by Nkrumah before he departed by plane for home. Police estimated the crowd at 1,000 persons. (1960)

3 comments:

Mike said...

Can anyone explain the sign on the left that seems to attack Ralph Bunche? (That might be Bunche standing, hand to face, on the right side of the platform.)

Tom Sutpen said...

I don't know what the specific beef was, but there were always large numbers of African-Americans, from the mid-50s on, who felt that the more integration-oriented, 'mainstream' voices in the Civil Rights movement (translation: voices deemed legitimate by White-owned and operated media entities) were too conciliatory, too trusting, too willing to ask for rights that, as American citizens, they were putatively born with, and too un-willing to defend themselves against their opressors (in whatever form).

Hagiography and other forms of marketable history tells us that there was no significant criticism of Martin Luther King within the whole of the Civil Rights movement prior to 1967-1968 . . . or if there was, it was from so-called marginal sectors such as The Nation of Islam (who were always portrayed as a pack of bloodthirsty crackpots). In truth, groups such as the NOI represented a far larger segment of opinion among African-Americans (none of it crazy) than any media outlet in the late 1950s was willing to admit to.

This protester doubtless emerges from that schism.

Fred said...

Maybe the NOI had a large segment of popular opinion within its community, but let's face it, the Civil Rights Movement lost its compass and basically ground to a halt with the rise of the militants (NOI, Stokely Carmichael, the Panthers, Rap Brown). The success of the Civil Rights Movement was largely a result of folks like Bunche and King who exposed what was wrong with the nation and won over the hearts and minds of the white community in the USA, leading to a significant change in this country.