There are far more Black heroes to discuss from the annals of American history and the Black experience than the icons MLK, Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks. This Black History Month, Ali Velshi introduces stories of Black American heroes missing from history textbooks. For example: Ralph Bunche.
Born the grandchild of slaves in 1904, Ralph Bunche excelled in school, graduating from UCLA as valedictorian with a degree in international relations. Bunche earned a Ph.D. in political science, worked in wartime intelligence, and played an integral role in establishing the United Nations. For his work brokering peace in Palestine and negotiating the armistice agreement of 1948 between the new nation of Israel and its neighbors, he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950. Bunche marched in the Civil Rights Movement protests of the 1950s and 60s, despite his ailing health, and passed away in 1971 at just 67.
Bunche’s commitment to peace was unwavering, famously saying of conflict mediators,
They should be biased against war and for peace. They should have a bias which would lead them to believe in the essential goodness of their fellowman and that no problem of human relations is insoluble. They should be biased against suspicion, intolerance, hate, religious and racial bigotry.
LISTEN: ALI VELSHI ON RALPH BUNCHE
WATCH: VELSHI DISCUSSES THE FIRST PERSON OF COLOR TO WIN THE NOBEL FOR PEACE
MORE FROM MSNBC’S ALI VELSHIAli Velshi profiles Ralph Bunche