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Ralph J. Bunche sends a typed letter about an article in the Digest.
Typed Letter Signed: "Ralph J. Bunche," 2p, 8½x11, separate sheets. United Nations, New York, 1955 May 16. The Director of the Trusteeship Department of the United Nations writes Mr. J. Wilson McKenney, Editor, California Teachers Association, San Francisco. In full: "Thank you for your letter of May 11, which I have read with great interest. With reference to the Ephebian episode in the Digest article, you may find of interest the following extracts from a letter written to me on July 6, 1949, by a former teacher at Jefferson High School. What is said by this teacher reflects quite accurately comments made to me at the time by one or more of my teachers. I mention this only to assure you that the suggestion of prejudice was not an impression of mine; it was an allegation by some who claimed to be in position to know. The letter reads inter alia; 'Once upon a time I called you Ralph, and I still like to think of you as Ralph, though before the world you are now an honored citizen and can associate with the "great". I have followed your interesting career with keen delight, as one success after another seems to have been your share - and through the newspapers I have met your charming family. Much has happened since you met me for the last time in my office the morning after the Jefferson Faculty chose the Ephebians for your class. I have now been a retired teacher since 1940, when I ended a 42 year teaching career. Since my retirement I have had much time for reflection, as you may imagine ..... ..... ..... ..... I, therefore, asked for a transfer to J.H.S. - a new school, which I hoped would pattern after Manual and maintain a high academic level. But alas - I soon saw my mistake. A weak administration, prejudice, etc., etc. "Now I am free, thank God, and can be my true self once more. Dear Ralph (please let me address you so) - you will never know how my heart ached and how hurt I was - when I learned the results of the vote for Ephebians in your class. You were the outstanding one in that class and deserved first place - by every measuring rod. Yet, prejudice overrode truth, I am sorry to say. I fought valiantly for you, but some others had greater weight than my judgment. I am free now, to tell you this. I wanted to, that last morning, but we were pledged to 'dead secrecy'. I would have been called a traitor and what not. But no one can control my conscience. I resolved to tell you long ago, but never saw you again. I am not answerable for what the others did, those who opposed you. Some are gone to their Maker, some are still here. But, at least, I am free to tell you that I did not stoop to prejudice and bigotry, even though I had to work with it and be surrounded by it. God bless you.'" Ralph J. Bunche, (1904-1971) who joined the United Nations in 1946, was chief U.N. mediator in the Middle East in 1948 and was awarded the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for helping to negotiate a truce between the Arabs and Israelis the previous year. He served as Undersecretary-General for Special Political Affairs from 1958-1971, and was a principal U.N. negotiator in such trouble spots as the Suez Canal (1956), the Congo (1960), Yemen (1963) and Cyprus (1964). Bunche was awarded the NAACP's Spingarn Medal (1949) and the Medal of Freedom in 1963, the year he participated in the March on Washington. Show-through stains across top of each page and across bottom of second page from glue on verso. Else in fine condition.

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Born: August 7, 1904 in Detroit, Michigan
Died: December 9, 1971 in New York City, New York

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