"And so class will some day supplant race in world affairs. Race war will then be merely a side-show to the gigantic class war which will be waged in the big tent we call the world." ~ Ralph Bunche, A World View of Race
Ralph Johnson Bunche was born in Detroit on August 7, 1903 [some sources put the date as August 8 and the year as 1904]. He later lived in Toledo, Ohio, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, before attending Jefferson High School in Los Angeles while living with his maternal grandmother. He was valedictorian of his class at Jefferson High School and was awarded an athletic scholarship to UCLA. While working as a janitor to cover living expenses, he again graduated at the top of his class with with a degree in international relations and was awarded a scholarship to Harvard where he earned a master's degree in political science, followed by a doctorate while teaching at Howard University.
From 1928 through 1950 Bunche chaired the department of Political Science at Howard. During World War II he worked in the Office of Strategic Services (forerunner of CIA) as a senior analyst on colonial affairs, and in the State Department under Alger Hiss. He was part of the Dunbarton Oaks Conference in 1944 which led to the creation of the United Nations and was instrumental in drafting both the UN Charter and the Declaration of Human Rights.
Bunche was then assigned to the UN Special Committee on Palestine and became the chief mediatiator upon the assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden. He negotiated an armistice between Israel and the Arab States in August 1949 which led to his being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950.
Bunche continued his diplomatic career in crisis spots such as the Suez Canal (1956), the Congo (1960) and Cyprus (1964), rising to the position of Undersecretary General of the UN. Domestically he served on the New York City Board of Education, the Harvard Board of Overseers and the NAACP Board of Directors.
He passed away on December 9, 1971 in New York City at the age of 68.
LOCAL UNIT INFORMATION and
BLACK HISTORY BLOG FEATURING EVENTS AND PEOPLE CONNECTED TO TEXAS OR NAACP.
SOME DAYS ARE DATE-SPECIFIC, SO CHECK THE BIRTHDAYS!
"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." ~ James Baldwin
"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.