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African Americans in U.S. Foreign PolicyFrom the Era of Frederick Douglass to the Age of Obama$
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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

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Carl Rowan and the Dilemma of Civil Rights, Propaganda, and the Cold War

Carl Rowan and the Dilemma of Civil Rights, Propaganda, and the Cold War

(p.58) 3 Carl Rowan and the Dilemma of Civil Rights, Propaganda, and the Cold War
African Americans in U.S. Foreign Policy

Michael L. Krenn

University of Illinois Press

This chapter considers the influence of Cold War politics and policies exerted on journalist and State Department spokesperson Carl Rowan during the 1950s and 1960s. It argues that Rowan's contention that “the civil rights issue was being dealt with in an effective and speedy manner” was not an indication of his naïve optimism about America's racial problem, but rather speaks to his understanding of the need for propaganda in America's struggle against communism. Once the Cold War was well over, as his book The Coming Race War in America: A Wake-Up Call attests, Rowan considered America's racial problems in a much less optimistic light.

Keywords:   Carl Rowan, Cold War, civil rights, race, propaganda, communism, racial problems

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