Today in labor history: NAACP sends “Appeal to the World” to the UN

On this day in 1947, the NAACP sent “An Appeal to the World” to the UN. The petition, authored by W.E.B. Du Bois, charged the U.S. with systematic denial of civil and human rights to African Americans. It stated, “We appeal to the world to witness that this attitude of America is far more dangerous to mankind than the atom bomb; and far, far more clamorous for attention than disarmament or treaty.”

The U.S. delegation to the UN, which included NAACP board member Eleanor Roosevelt, refused to introduce the petition. The Soviet Union proposed the issue be considered by the UN Human Rights Commission. It too declined.