Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Nicole Phelps


African Americans have a rich history of activism, but their involvement in affecting change during the interwar period is often overlooked in favor of post-Civil War and post-World War II coverage. African Americans also have a rich history of reaching out to the international community when it comes to that activism. This examination looks to illuminate the effect of the connections African Americans made with the rest of the world and how that shaped their worldview and their activism on the international stage. Through the use of newspapers and first-hand accounts, it becomes clear how African American figures and world incidents shaped what the African American community in the United States took interest in. In Paris, however, musicians explored a world free from Jim Crow, and the Pan-African Congresses created and encouraged a sense of unity among members of the black race around the globe. When violence threatened Ethiopians through the form of an Italian invasion, African Americans chose to speak out, and when they saw the chance at revenge against fascists they joined the Spanish Republic in their fight against Francisco Franco.

In the interwar period African Americans took to heart the idea of black unity and chose to act in the interest of the black race on the international stage. Their ideas and beliefs changed over the course of the two decades between the World Wars, eventually turning thoughts into actions and lashing out against any injustice that befell any member of the black race.



Number of Pages

132 p.