I spent part of the day watching a PBS conversation on Ralph Bunche, last week I also got a chance to watch a similar discussion on Malcolm X(whose birthday was May 19th). Probably no chance that Google would commemorate his birthday with a flattering caricature.. I digress.
Regarding Bunche, I really did not know much about his work with the continent of Africa. Particularly, his earlier writing about issues of class and race. The written work "A World View of Race", was indeed controversial for its time, and certainly one of Bunche's most critically acclaimed essays. It is worth noting that much of the language in the text is very apropos for our so-called modern world. The more interesting backdrop to this story is the fact that Bunche elected to work for the State Department. I couldn't help think about the irony in his predicament, as he was truly militant for his era. Moreover, it was extremely rare for black folks to work in any government capacity during this particular period. The entire story reminded me of the story, the "Spook Who Sat by the Door?"
Bunche had his own agenda, and he'd be ridiculed by both whites and blacks. I certainly would not have wanted his job. What I found most interesting was his efforts for ending colonial rule in Africa during the 1940's, I wonder what the continent of Africa would be today, had he succeeded. Would it have the burgeoning economic strength of China or India? Would the US be able to ignore the significance of Africa? I think not. Sadly the first African nations were not truly liberated from European colonialism until the late 1950's, earlier 1960's. Unfortunately, by this time irreparable damage had already been done. The division of people, the raping of resources were indeed by-products of European colonialism.
I would imagine that Bunche supporters were very saddened that African nations were not emancipated during Gandhi's courageous stand against the imperialists of England.
Indeed, some twenty years later, the majority of African nations proclaimed and seized their freedom from colonial rule. In fact, many of the emancipated African nation leaders asked the so-called black Americans, "When will you have your freedom?"
Nonetheless, the question still remains..
What would have become of mother Africa, had not ravages of colonial rule not beset the continent? If were possible for freedom to have come in 1940's, while India was proclaiming independence.. What kind of Africa would we have today?