OF PEOPLE, TERMS AND EVENTS
Folke Bernadotte (1895-1948), a Swedish diplomat,
was the UN's chief mediator in the Arab-Israeli dispute after
the Partition of Palestine and the outbreak of the first Arab-Israeli
War in 1948. He was assassinated in Jerusalem by Jewish militants
as he and Ralph Bunche prepared to take a series of proposals,
including one to establish Jerusalem as an Arab city, to the
UN General Assembly.
Carmichael (1941-1998) preached Black power, separation
of the races and violence to end racist practices in the United
States, after beginning his crusade with non- violent protests
and voter registration drives. His radical ideas made him
a symbol to those African Americans who felt that drastic
action was necessary to advance civil rights.
XI of the UN Charter titled "Declaration Regarding
Non-Self-Governing Territories" established the principles
for administrating the trust territories, 11 colonies and
regions of the world that did not have independent governments
and came under the protection of the United Nations after
World War II.
XII of the UN Charter established the "International
Trusteeship System" to monitor territories known as "trust"
territories. Those territories were formerly administered
under Mandates from the League of Nations, or were separated
from countries defeated in the Second World War, or were voluntarily
placed under the system by States responsible for their administration.
Eleven Territories were placed under this system. The basic
objective of the System was to promote the political, economic
and social advancement of the territories and their development
towards self-government and self-determination. It also encouraged
respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and recognition
of the interdependence of peoples of the world. The council
monitored the move to self-government in the trust territories
until 1994 when it ceased active operation.
War refers to a period of political, economic and ideological
conflict between East-particularly the USSR and the People's
Republic of China-and West-mainly the Unites States and Western
Europe. During four decades between the late 1940's and the
late 1980's, the superpowers vied for influence over the so-called
Third World. Although armed conflict did erupt in Korea, the
Middle East and Viet Nam, the conflict was limited and the
superpowers avoided facing each other directly on the battlefield.
One key feature of the Cold War was the nuclear arms race.
The Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in
and imperialism refer to a system whereby more powerful
and industrialized nations control, by force or other means,
weaker regions for the benefit of the dominant power. After
World War II one of the great challenges facing the Allies
involved determining the future of vast colonial possessions.
Competition for control of the natural resources in these
areas had been a major source of conflict among the industrialized
or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as the country
is known today, fell into chaos immediately after it gained
independence from Belgium in 1960. Called the Belgian Congo
before independence and Republic of Zaire from 1971 to 1997,
it is one of the world's richest and largest countries. With
continuing unrest and poverty, the current plight of the country
symbolizes the challenge of overcoming colonial heritage and
tribal conflicts in underdeveloped areas where borders have
been determined by foreign rulers.
P. Davis (1904-1996) was an educator and literary critic
analyzing the great body of African-American literature written
in the 20th century. He produced a large body of
critical essays and other writings from the 1930s through
the 1980s when he retired as professor emeritus from Howard
P. Davis (1905-1973) was an advocate of Negro rights who
fought for economic parity for Black Americans under the new
deal. A founder of the National Negro Congress, he later embraced
Communism and the organization declinedbeing dissolved
in 1948. Afterward he became a businessman, magazine publisher
and editor of scholarly publications.
Franklin Frazier (1894-1962) excelled in a long career
as a sociologist and professor at Fisk, Atlanta and Howard
Universities. His numerous publications on the state of the
Negro family in the United States conveyed positive images
of African-American families as hard workers, entrepreneurs
and quiet contributors to society. Often criticized for radical
views, his philosophy was mild, compared to later Black nationalists
and Black power advocates.
E. B. Du Bois (1868-1963) was a prominent Black academic
and sociologist who urged educated Negroes, the "talented
tenth," to take up the cause of freedom and equality.
A founder of the National Association of Colored People, he
later supported Black separatism. In the face of continuing
racism in the United States, he embraced more and more radical
views, renounced his citizenship and moved to Ghana where
Organizations Employees Loyalty Board was created by executive
order in 1953 to investigate potential employees of international
organizations, such as the UN, to determine if individuals
were or might be engaged in espionage or subversive activities
against the United States. During the McCarthy era investigators
abused their power in the heat of the "red scare"
of the 1950s.
of Nations was formed after World War I to try to prevent
future wars between nations and "make the world safe
for democracy." The United States never joined the organization
and it lost all credibility as the world moved toward World
Lie (1896-1968), a Norwegian statesman, served as first
Secretary-General of the UN from 1946 to 1952. Accused by
the USSR of showing favor to the West, he was forced to resign
his post 1952.
Hammarskjöld (1905-1961), a Swedish government official
and economist, was Secretary-General of the UN from 1953 to
1961. He was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize posthumously after
he was killed on a peace mission to the Congo.
Selassie (1891-1975) was the emperor of Ethiopia from
1930 to 1936 when he was deposed by Italian invaders. Ethiopia
was the last truly independent nation in Africa and its conquest
by Fascist Italy was a precursor to World War II. Restored
to power in 1941, Selassie ruled until 1973 when he was ousted
due to growing unrest in Ethiopia.
University is the nation's largest historically black
university. Initially conceived by the First Congregational
Society of Washington, DC, it was chartered by Congress in
1867. During the 1930s, as a haven for Black intellectuals,
it provided a pulpit to many voices -- some of them radical
-- calling for civil rights reform and racial justice and
provided an environment nurturing cutting-edge medical and
is a rich and large area in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo. After the country gained independence in 1960, the
province, under the leadership of Moise Tshombe, tried to
secede from the new government. Bloody conflict erupted, but
the secession effort failed.
War broke out in 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea
south of the 38th parallel. The invasion set off
the first major conflict of the Cold War as Communist forces
joined the fighting. UN troops under the command of General
Douglas MacArthur pushed the invaders out of South Korea and
an armistice was signed in 1953.
Lumumba (1925-1961) became first premier of the newly
independent Republic of the Congo, formerly known as the Belgian
Congo. Lumumba faced civil unrest throughout the country as
warring tribes fought for independence and the great powers
vied for power to gain access to the countrys rich resources.
He was deposed, arrested and assassinated in September 1961.
on Washington in 1963 was one of the largest demonstrations
in support of civil rights and justice for African Americans
and other minorities. Led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
the gathering at the Lincoln Memorial of over 250,000 civil
rights activists and ordinary citizens made clear the pressing
need for legislation to overcome discrimination and make the
law serve all people equally. Dr. King's "I Have a Dream"
speech became the rallying cry in the struggle for civil rights.
Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957) led a vocal and highly publicized
hunt for Communists in the early 1950's, during the height
of the Cold War. His innuendo and unproved accusations ruined
many careers and brought into question the durability of due
process and civil rights laws of the United States. The Senate
censored McCarthy in 1954.
Abdul Nasser (1918-1970) became President of Egypt in
1954, when King Faruk was deposed by a group of military officers.
He was immensely popular in Egypt and throughout the Arab
world. His actions in nationalizing the Suez Canal brought
the world to the brink of war, but the UN was able to end
the hostilities through an armistice and sent peacekeeping
forces to the area to insure implementation of the terms of
Negro Congress, a new political organization, was formed
in 1936 by leading African-American intellectuals, including
Ralph Bunche. With the goal of establishing a new agenda for
Black civil rights and economic empowerment, the organization
broke new ground searching for ways to collaborate with white
labor unions and progressive groups to advance the mutual
interests of working class Blacks and whites in the social,
political and economic areas of American life.
Deal proposed by President Franklin Roosevelt was a plan
intended to bring economic relief, recovery and reform to
the country, which was suffering from the effects of the Great
Depression. The emphasis was on making government more responsive
to the needs of the common people. Using activist government,
the New Deal launched new programs providing jobs and reviving
the economy. Many African Americans of the day felt left out
because the new programs failed to address effectively the
racism and job discrimination that had unfairly added to the
economic woes of the community.
Peace Prize was established in 1897 by the will of Alfred
Nobel, a wealthy Norwegian inventor and industrialist. According
to the terms of the will, the prize was to be given"...
to the person who shall have done the most or the best work
for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction
of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace
congresses." Usually awarded annually, the winner receives
a medal and a cash award. In 1950 Ralph Bunche, for his work
on the Palestinian question and the Arab-Israeli conflict,
became the first person of color in the world to win the prize.
of Strategic Services (OSS) was established by President
Franklin Roosevelt in 1941 as an intelligence gathering and
propaganda organization to prepare for America's entry into
the war. It was staffed by academics and specialists on different
parts of the world. OSS was the forerunner of the Central
of Palestine was the plan, narrowly adopted in 1947 by
the UN General Assembly, that proposed dividing Palestine
into two politically independent states with an economic union
in an effort to end land disputes between the Arabs and Jews.
It ultimately led to the creation of the state of Israel and
set the stage for the enduring hostilities between the Arabs
and Israelis in the Middle East.
over" or "passing" refers usually in the
United States to a light skinned Black person assuming a white
identity. While used by other cultures and ethnic groups,
"passing over" in African-American culture occurred
during slavery and after the Civil War until the mid-twentieth
century as individuals chose to forsake their race and family
to become white in an effort to escape widespread prejudice
and discrimination. Some considered those who passed traitors
to their race. Others were sympathetic because of the burden
that African Americans were forced to bear in a racist society.
or bringing hostile parties together to resolve conflict without
warfare is one of the most important roles that the UN plays
in maintaining world peace and security. Through the use of
diplomacy, mediation, arbitration and other conflict resolution
techniques, a neutral third party such as the UN helps the
contentious parties arrive at a peaceful resolution of their
of the United Nations is the head of the UN Secretariat,
the body responsible for carrying out the substantive and
administrative work of the organization as directed by the
General Assembly, the Security Council and other organs. Today,
the Secretary-General oversees a staff of approximately 8,900
employees drawn from 160 countries and stationed in New York,
Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi.
Francisco Conference, or, more formally, the United Nations
Conference on International Organization, (April 25-June26,
1945), drew up the Charter of the United Nations that spelled
out the mission, purposes and structure of the new body. The
UN officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when
the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet
Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and a majority
of the other 51 signatories. United Nations Day is celebrated
on 24 October each year.
Voting Rights March (March 7-March 15, 1965),
led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., included many civil rights
activists like Ralph Bunche and others who wanted to focus
attention on the denial of voting rights to African Americans.
Television gave the nation a picture of the violence inflicted
on the marchers by state and local police in the first attempt
to reach Montgomery. A second attempt several days later was
completed under the protection of federal troops. In response,
Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, which was signed by
President Lyndon Baines Johnson on August 6, 1965.
Crisis started in 1956 when Egypt nationalized the Suez
Canal. Shortly thereafter Israel, supported by France and
Great Britain, invaded the Sinai Peninsula. Special
peacekeeping forces, from neutral member nations, under UN
command, brought an end to the hostilities. It was the first
time such forces, which have become an established part of
international peacekeeping, were used.
tenth" was a term coined by W. E. B. Du Bois to describe
the small percentage of educated and upper middle class Negroes
who were high achievers in the face of racial prejudice. The
Harlem Renaissance, 1917-1936, is considered to have been
a manifestation of the power of this small group to impact
the entire community.
Thant (1909-1974), Burnese diplomat and delegate to the
UN, served as Secretary-General of the UN from 1961-1971.
During his tenure he was active in peacekeeping activities.
Territories were colonial territories placed under a UN
trusteeship at the end of World War II. They were largely
former League of Nations mandated territories and areas that
belonged to the defeated Axis powers. Chapter XII of the UN
Charter, drafted by Ralph Bunche, provided the framework for
overseeing the administration of these areas, with the ultimate
goal of self-government or independence. The last of the Trust
Territories, Palau, became independent in 1994.
Nations, comprising of 189 countries at the end of 2000,
was established in 1945 at the end of World War II by 51 countries
committed to preserving peace through international cooperation
and collective security. The original Charter of the United
Nations -- an international treaty designed to protect future
generations from the scourge of war and written to affirm
fundamental human rights -- as amended governs all activities.
The 15-member Security Council and the Secretariat headed
by the Secretary-General oversee the day-to-day operation,
including meetings of the General Assembly. Ralph Bunche played
a key role in drafting the Charter of the UN and carrying
out its mission of peace.
has been one of the United Nations major contributions to
world peace. Most operations involve military duties, such
as observing a cease-fire or establishing a buffer zone while
negotiators seek a long-term solution. Other approaches may
use civilian police or incorporate civilian personnel to organize
elections or monitor human rights. Peacekeeping operations
may last for a few months or continue for many years. Since
the UN deployed its first military observers in 1948, some
118 countries have voluntarily provided more than 750,000
military and civilian police personnel. They have served,
along with thousands of civilians, in 54 peacekeeping operations.
As of December 2000, some 35,400 military and civilian police
personnel are deployed in 15 operations.
Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) was created in
1947 by the General Assembly to propose a solution to the
Palestine problem. The majority report recommended the formation
of two politically independent states with an economic union.
This plan was approved by the General Assembly by a narrow
majority over the objection of the Arab and Muslim states.
Brian Urquhart (1919- ) was one of the first United Nations
civil servants. A member of the UN Secretariat from 1945 until
his retirement in 1986, he worked closely with Ralph Bunche
and the first five Secretaries-General on peace and security
matters, especially peacekeeping. In 1972, he succeeded Ralph
Bunche as Under Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs.
His books include Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey,
the biography on which the film is based.
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