Title

Richard Wright and the 1955 Bandung Conference: A Re-Evaluation of The Color Curtain

Publication Title

Journeys: the International Journal of Travel & Travel Writing

Publication Date

1-2009

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.3167/jys.2009.100202

Keywords

Richard Wright, 1955 Bandung Conference, "Color Curtain"

Disciplines

African Languages and Societies | American Literature | French and Francophone Language and Literature

Abstract

The Color Curtain reflects Richard Wright's problematical assessment of the 1955 Bandung Conference and his difficult attempts to reconcile his sincere denunciation of the consequences of colonialism and racism on people of Asian and African descent with his condescending representation of Third World nationalism during the middle of the twentieth century. The book reveals striking paradoxes in Wright's evaluation of a nationalism that he occasionally vilifies as an ideology that was grounded on impassioned and essentialist cultural or religious affiliations and feelings. Yet Wright's demeaning, elitist, and patronizing attitudes about Third World nationalism and cultures did not prevent him from identifying with the core spirit of the Bandung Conference. In his assessment of the summit, Wright occasionally reveals his admiration for a Third World nationalism that echoed his disparagement of Western racism and imperialism.

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