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87 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 521 (2012)
Engendering the History of Race and International Relations: The Career of Edith Sampson, 1927-1978

handle is hein.journals/chknt87 and id is 533 raw text is: ENGENDERING THE HISTORY OF RACE AND INTERNATIONAL
RELATIONS: THE CAREER OF EDITH SAMPSON, 1927-1978
GWEN JORDAN*
INTRODUCTION
Remember, I too, am one of the despised.i Edith Sampson ut-
tered this pronouncement in her 1957 address in Kansas City, Missouri
at a regional conference of the Links, a prominent, national African
American women's volunteer service organization.2 Sampson was
speaking as a black woman attorney of thirty years and a former U.S.
Delegate to the United Nations (U.N.). She was responding to black
radicals who criticized her for aiding the U.S. government's anti-
communism campaign.3 They asserted she was one of a group of con-
servative African Americans that the State Department enlisted to em-
phasize the progress of race relations in the U.S. as they downplayed
the significant racism that persisted.4 More than half a century later,
activists and scholars continue to identify Sampson as one of that con-
servative group.s
* I thank Bernie Jones, Chris Schmidt, Mary Ellen Curtin, Felice Batlan, and the participants
of the University of Illinois Springfield College of Public Affairs and Administration brownbag
series for their valuable comments and critiques on earlier drafts of this article. I also thank Kelly
Wajda for her research assistance. Finally, I thank the University of Illinois at Springfield for its
Competitive Scholarly Research Grant that supported this project.
1. Edith Sampson, Equal Opportunity-Equal Responsibility, Vital Speeches of the Day, June
15, 1957, at 519 [hereinafter Equal Opportunity].
2. THE LINKS, INC., About The Links, Incorporated, http://www.linksinc.org/about.shtml
(last visited Nov. 20, 2011). Sampson became a member of The Chicago Links in 1951. Edith
Sampson, 3 Others]oin Chicago Links, CHI. DEFENDER, Oct. 27, 1957, at 8.
3. Marguerite Cartwright, The United Nations and the U.S. Negro, 18 NEGRO HIST. BULL. 133
(Mar. 1955); William Worthy, In Cloud-Cuckoo Land, 59 CRISIS 226-30 (Apr. 1952). See also Letter
from Claude A. Barnett to Howland Sargent, Assistant Sec'y of State, Edith Spurlock Sampson
Papers 1927-1979, Box 3 Folder 72 (Mar. 27, 1952) (on file with the Schlesinger Library, Rad-
cliffe Institute, Harvard University) [hereinafter ESS Papers],, which documents and disagrees
with criticism of Sampson.
4. MARY L. DUDZIAK, COLD WAR CIVIL RIGHTS: RACE AND THE IMAGE OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY 15,
56-60, 105 (2000).
5. THOMAS BORSTELMANN, THE COLD WAR AND THE COLOR LINE: AMERICAN RACE RELATIONS IN THE
GLOBAL ARENA 77-78 (2001); GERALD HORNE, COMMUNIST FRONT? THE CIVIL RIGHTS CONGRESS 1946-
1956, at 173 (1988).

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