African Americans

During the mid-20th century, black Americans increasingly looked towards the anti-colonialist/pro-independence movements taking hold in South Asia and coastal West Africa as compatriots struggling for social, political, and economic equality in an unequal western reality. In the United States, black civil rights leaders, particularly Martin Luther King, Jr., drew inspiration from Mohandas Gandhi’s pacifist protests and demonstrations against British imperial rule. India and Ghana’s independence from European colonial rule, in 1946 and 1957 respectively, signified the achievement of sovereignty, self-determination, and the possibility of equality under the law. They also represented the hope and possibility of the equal social, political, and legal treatment of black Americans in the United States deeply divided along racial lines.

For this paper, you will consider historical primary sources in the form of newspaper articles and editorials by American civil rights advocates and non-advocates, and you will construct an argument about how Indian and Ghanaian independence shaped the American civil rights movement during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.

This is an argumentative essay, which means that your paper should have an introduction ending with a clear, concise, and arguable thesis statement. In your formulating your paper’s argument, please think about some of the following questions:

What did Indian and Ghanaian independence mean to American civil rights advocates?
What arguments and/or counterarguments did more mainstream/White newspapers advance?
How did the arrival of Ghanaian leaders to the United States in 1957 influence the pro-civil rights newspapers’ discussion of segregation and Jim Crow laws? For information on African Americans check on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Americans

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