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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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The Impact of African Americans on U.S. Foreign Policy

(p.213) Epilogue
African Americans in U.S. Foreign Policy

Charles R. Stith

University of Illinois Press

This chapter presents former ambassador Charles Stith's reflections on the impact of African Americans on U.S. foreign policy during particular historical periods. He identifies four eras of impact that reflect an African American imprint on U.S. foreign policy. Those are the slavery era, the Reconstruction era, the civil rights era, and the post-civil rights era. Each era is noteworthy for its changes in status and power of African Americans and thus has implications relative to the question of impact. Each era also had its distinct foreign policy issues and challenges. Among his observations are that the foreign policy concerns of African Americans were both major and mainstream from era to era, whether the issue was the slave trade or the war against terrorism; that the unique contribution of African Americans to the foreign policy mix is to see America's geopolitical interests through the lens of human rights; and that the breadth of foreign policy interests by African Americans has reflected their position and power within the American body politic.

Keywords:   African Americans, American foreign policy, human rights, slavery era, Reconstruction, civil rights, post-civil rights

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