Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
African Americans in U.S. Foreign PolicyFrom the Era of Frederick Douglass to the Age of Obama$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Linda Heywood, Allison Blakely, Charles Stith, and Joshua C. Yesnowitz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038877

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038877.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use (for details see http://www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 June 2018

Goodwill Ambassadors

Goodwill Ambassadors

African American Athletes and U.S. Cultural Diplomacy, 1947–1968

Chapter:
(p.129) 6 Goodwill Ambassadors
Source:
African Americans in U.S. Foreign Policy
Author(s):

Damion Thomas

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252038877.003.0007

This chapter examines the “challenges, contradictions, and political nature” of African American sports emissaries during the early Cold War era. Recognizing the impact that Soviet declarations of American mistreatment of blacks were having on global public opinion about the United States, government officials planned goodwill trips that provided opportunities for people around the world to meet successful African Americans whose abilities on the playing field and loyalty to the nation represented a positive counterweight to the claims being posited by adversaries of the United States. The chapter devotes special attention to athletes' response to the program, most of whom were initially unaware of the underlying political purpose of their trips. There was an unintended politicizing effect for the athletes, as many used the forum to distance themselves from domestic policies, push for civil rights, and find common cause with subjugated peoples around the world. An increased unwillingness for citizen diplomats to “stay on message” resulted in the programs being scaled back in the late 1960s.

Keywords:   African American athletes, sports emissaries, diplomacy, foreign relations, Col War

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.