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Your Struggle is my Struggle: India and the NAACP's Alliance to End Racial Oppression in South Africa, 1946-1951

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Abstract:

Carol Anderson, Emory University, carol.anderson@emory.edu

“Your Struggle is my Struggle: India and the NAACP’s Alliance to End Racial Oppression in South Africa, 1946-1951”

As the Second World War wound down and the possibility of a new world order seemed just on the horizon, an unlikely but highly effective alliance formed between the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Indian government’s indigenous leadership to end, once and for all, colonialism. Of course, on the surface this alliance seemed fraught with difficulties. India was riven with caste issues that in many ways mirrored the marginalization of African Americans in the United States, and the NAACP has been virtually invisible to historians as a force for anti-colonialism. Yet, the Association leadership, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and his sister UN Ambassador Madame Pandit, all believed that the major issue confronting the world was the scourge of global white supremacy that had propped up both Jim Crow and colonialism. Madame Pandit, with the full blessing of her brother, a lifetime member of the NAACP, therefore worked closely with Association executive secretary Walter White to rid the world of “the white man’s burden.” The United Nations became their vehicle in this fight for justice. Their primary target was South Africa, which exemplified, like none other, the sheer debasement that happened to people of color under the mantle of the “civilizing mission.” As India’s representative in the United Nations, Madame Pandit relentlessly hammered away at South Africa’s racial policies. The NAACP worked closely with her and the India League to bring dissidents, accurate data, and powerful contacts throughout the United States before the UN to break Pretoria’s stranglehold on the Indians, Africans, and Coloureds in both South Africa and in the mandated colony, South West Africa (current-day Namibia). In the end, the NAACP’s and India’s efforts were absolutely critical in transforming a hallowed ally of the Western powers into a pariah whose only pathway back into the community of nations was to dismantle apartheid.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436477_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Anderson, Carol. "Your Struggle is my Struggle: India and the NAACP's Alliance to End Racial Oppression in South Africa, 1946-1951" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436477_index.html>

APA Citation:

Anderson, C. "Your Struggle is my Struggle: India and the NAACP's Alliance to End Racial Oppression in South Africa, 1946-1951" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436477_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: Carol Anderson, Emory University, carol.anderson@emory.edu

“Your Struggle is my Struggle: India and the NAACP’s Alliance to End Racial Oppression in South Africa, 1946-1951”

As the Second World War wound down and the possibility of a new world order seemed just on the horizon, an unlikely but highly effective alliance formed between the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Indian government’s indigenous leadership to end, once and for all, colonialism. Of course, on the surface this alliance seemed fraught with difficulties. India was riven with caste issues that in many ways mirrored the marginalization of African Americans in the United States, and the NAACP has been virtually invisible to historians as a force for anti-colonialism. Yet, the Association leadership, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and his sister UN Ambassador Madame Pandit, all believed that the major issue confronting the world was the scourge of global white supremacy that had propped up both Jim Crow and colonialism. Madame Pandit, with the full blessing of her brother, a lifetime member of the NAACP, therefore worked closely with Association executive secretary Walter White to rid the world of “the white man’s burden.” The United Nations became their vehicle in this fight for justice. Their primary target was South Africa, which exemplified, like none other, the sheer debasement that happened to people of color under the mantle of the “civilizing mission.” As India’s representative in the United Nations, Madame Pandit relentlessly hammered away at South Africa’s racial policies. The NAACP worked closely with her and the India League to bring dissidents, accurate data, and powerful contacts throughout the United States before the UN to break Pretoria’s stranglehold on the Indians, Africans, and Coloureds in both South Africa and in the mandated colony, South West Africa (current-day Namibia). In the end, the NAACP’s and India’s efforts were absolutely critical in transforming a hallowed ally of the Western powers into a pariah whose only pathway back into the community of nations was to dismantle apartheid.


Similar Titles:
The Business of Racial Equality: A Comparison of Movements for Racial Equality in the U.S. South and South Africa

The India, Brazil, South Africa Alliance: A Sensible Alternative to South-South Cooperation


 
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