Abstract

During the period of 1962 to 1965, the “race narrative” that the United States presented to the world in the context of the status of African-Americans in American society, underwent a change. In a thought-out diplomatic move, the administrations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson adopted a public diplomacy policy based on calculated transparency. While earlier attempts had been made in that direction, adopting a policy based on admitting past and present discrimination against African-Americans as the guiding rule was a novelty. This work aspires to track and analyze that policy’s crystallization, highlighting it as an example of linkage between social change, legal developments, and diplomacy. While indicating the limits of the scope of American candidness regarding continuing racial practices, and cooperation with racial regimes such as that of South Africa, I wish to point out the benefits that adopting this policy entailed, in terms of United States international prestige, its Cold War interests, and its ability to participate in United Nations initiatives to advance human rights.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-1897
Print ISSN
0022-4529
Pages
pp. 168-193
Launched on MUSE
2015-09-30
Open Access
No
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