University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Geography - Seminars in Cultural and Historical Geography > Untangling Black Internationalisms: Bayard Rustin, Nonviolence and the Promise of Africa, c. 1953

Untangling Black Internationalisms: Bayard Rustin, Nonviolence and the Promise of Africa, c. 1953

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“Bayard Rustin is best remembered for his work with Martin Luther King Jr. and, in particular, for his organisation of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the crowning achievement of his prolific career. This paper reconstructs some of Rustin’s formative years in the early 1950s when he was a leading pacifist charged with developing Gandhian nonviolence in American race relations. The paper considers Rustin’s American race work in the light of his interests in African decolonisation, centred on his unpublished 1953 “Africa Program”. By considering a previously ignored African American commentary, the paper questions the tendency to fold Black travels abroad into one another as part of a singular, coherent Black internationalist project, and how specific forms of black internationalism centred on nonviolence simultaneously utilised, redefined and undermined the rise of American post-war power.”

This talk is part of the Department of Geography - Seminars in Cultural and Historical Geography series.

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