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This Worldwide StruggleReligion and the International Roots of the Civil Rights Movement$
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Sarah Azaransky

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190262204

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190262204.001.0001

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Moral Leadership of the World

Moral Leadership of the World

(p.185) 6 Moral Leadership of the World
This Worldwide Struggle

Sarah Azaransky

Oxford University Press

In the 1950s, Cold War politics made anticolonial alliances between Africans, Asians, and black Americans suspect, as the demands of governing—as opposed to coordinating a freedom movement—redirected energies and attention. Yet India and Ghana, in particular, remained concrete examples for the network at the center of this book. Benjamin Mays returned to India in 1953 to witness the world’s largest democracy composed of people of color. Bayard Rustin went to Ghana in 1959 to coordinate an international antinuclear and antiimperial protest of French nuclear testing in the Sahara desert. Mays and Rustin were both instrumental to the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which inaugurated Martin Luther King Jr. as a civil rights leader. The decade closed with a new generation of activists and intellectuals taking lessons from the people at the center of this book to spur a mass, nonviolent American freedom movement.

Keywords:   Benjamin Mays, Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King Jr., Jawaharlal Nehru, Kwame Nkrumah, Sahara Project, Montgomery Bus Boycott, Bill Sutherland, civil rights movement, anti-colonialism

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