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Date of Award

Spring 2020


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Document Type

Thesis: EWU Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA) in History




The people of the African diaspora across the Americas had long looked for a way out of the situation that had been imposed on them since their arrival as slaves. Black nationalism was created in the early 1900s as a last-ditch effort by former slaves to take control of their lives, communities, and to assert political power in a pervasive environment of segregation. People like Robert F. Williams and Stokely Carmichael put forward a Black nationalist, self-defense agenda that was meant to counteract the violence that had been directed at African Americans over the years. Looking for a friend to help, they found an unlikely ally in Fidel Castro and his newly created revolutionary government that successfully challenged and defeated the U.S.-backed dictator. However, these movements had little in common and were only united in their criticism of the U.S. Soon, Black nationalists found that the rhetoric coming out of Cuba about a “racial paradise” was untrue, and it became apparent in time that the revolutionary regime had done no better a job in dealing with discrimination than did the U.S. government. Desperate to find an ally, African-Americans fell prey to the lure of Cuban propaganda that was directed at them with the goal of exploiting them in furtherance of their communist agenda.