Eric Blair Presents – Daily Knowledge: Ralph Bunche (Day 15)
Ralph Bunche was an American political scientist and diplomat who received the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his late 1940s mediation in Palestine. He was the first African American to be so honored in the history of the Prize. Bunche chaired the Department of Political Science at Howard University from 1928 until 1950, where he taught generations of students. He also was a member of the American Federation of Teachers affiliate at Harvard. In 1936, Bunche authored a pamphlet entitled A World View of Race. In it, Bunche wrote: “And so class will some day supplant race in world affairs. Race war will then be merely a side-show to the gigantic class war which will be waged in the big tent we call the world.” From 1936 to 1940, Bunche served as contributing editor of the journal Science and Society: A Marxian Quarterly. Bunche spent time during World War II in the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor of the CIA, as senior social analyst on Colonial Affairs before joining the State Department in 1943. At the State Department, he was appointed Associate Chief of the Division of Dependent Area Affairs under Alger Hiss. With Hiss, Bunche became one of the leaders of the Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR). He participated in the preliminary planning for the United Nations at the San Francisco Conference of 1945. He was involved in the formation and administration of the United Nations and in 1963, received the Medal of Freedom from President John F. Kennedy.