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Grant number: FT-57486-10

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FT-57486-10

Jacqueline Foertsch
University of North Texas (Denton, TX 76203-5017)

Sidebar: Covering the Bomb in the African American Press

This chapter will examine coverage of the atom bomb in the African American press between the years 1945 and 1962. Always in search of the relevant angle on topics it covered, the black press hailed Manhattan Project scientists from its own community, exposed discrimination in the atomic workplace, blamed the bomb for too-rapidly ending the war (and the many jobs it had created), and both accepted and protested the atomic vanquishing of Japan. It railed against segregated preparedness policy (including the prospect of whites-only bomb shelters and evacuation plans) and hailed integrated anti-nuclear protest. It drew upon the rhetorical power of atomic imagery whenever suitable -- for instance, the beloved baseball superstar Jackie Robinson had "atomic" impact -- and read the Soviet Union's success with nuclear technology (its first bomb detonation in 1949, its Sputnik launch in 1957) as a necessary corrective to the white West's arrogant, imperialist mindset.

Project fields:
American Literature

Program:
Summer Stipends

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2010 – 9/30/2010