Cold War, Communism, and Civil Rights

In  “Black and Red: Black Liberation, the Cold War, and the Horne Thesis,” McDuffie mentions “connections between anti-communism and opposition to legal racial segregation.” The U.S. could no longer condone segregation or have laws in place that segregated because of the way this action would be viewed internationally. The U.S. had to keep up the facade that America was a utopia, for all races and classes. In order to win over the “Third World” and to ensure that countries did not fall to communism over capitalism, the U.S. had to present itself in the best light as possible. However, Jim Crow and legal racial segregation did not allow this as other nations could point this out as a problem of American society. Nevertheless, the U.S. still silenced black leaders, such as W.E.B. DuBois, who fought for civil rights because they had more socialist leanings. They wanted to quiet people who spoke out about the injustices suffered by African Americans. I thought this information was important as it is a backdrop for the reasons of the successes of the civil rights movement that are not widely taught or known. The American government allowed for African Americans to gain some political rights in order to maintain the illusion of a perfect America. It is interesting to speculate how the Civil Rights movement may have played out without the Cold War. How much traction would the movement have gained and how would it have been influenced by the more leftists views? 



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