Ralph Bunche

Ralph Bunche

Ralph Bunche was born in Detroit, Michigan, on 7th August, 1904. He obtained a degree from the University of California (1927), a M.A. in political science (1928) and a Ph.D in international relations (1934) at Harvard University.

A lecturer in Howard University, Bunche founded the National Negro Congress in 1936 and was a member of the U.S. delegation that drafted the United Nations Charter at the San Francisco Conference. After negotiating an armistice agreement between Egypt and Israel in 1949 Bunche received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Bunche wrote several books including A World View of Race (1936), Ideologies, Tactics and Achievements of Negro Betterment and Interracial Organizations (1940) and The Atlantic Charter and Africa (1942).

A member of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) Bunche participated in the Selma to Montgomery protest march in 1965. Ralph Bunche died in New York on 9th December, 1971.

Primary Sources

(1) Ralph Blunche, speech, Annual Convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, Dallas, Texas (4th July, 1954)

I am here not only because I am a Negro and proud of it. I have come because I am an American and proud of it; because I have a fervent belief in democracy as the only way of life worthy of free men; because I believe that winning full equality and full integration for the Negro citizen is indispensable not only to him but to the nation; because I believe that proving the ability of democracy to have unqualified application to all people irrespective of race or religion is imperative to the cause of freedom throughout the world, to our nation's international prestige and to our leadership of the free peoples; because I believe that proving the virility of our democracy is one of the strongest blows we can strike at aggressive communism; and finally, because I have children and am determined to do all that I can to ensure that they will be complete Americans on the same basis as every other American and without the handicaps of race which you and I have had to suffer.