About the Conference

Boston University
October 27-28, 2010

Boston University’s African American Studies Program in conjunction with the African Presidential Archives and Research Center presents African Americans and U.S. Foreign Policy, a two-day conference to be held from October 27-28, 2010. The conference will engage academics, diplomats, and public and private sector leaders in a conversation on the contributions of African Americans to United States’ foreign policy.

Our goal is to analyze the role of African Americans on U.S. foreign policy, with a focus on both the historical and current impact. Beginning with the arrival of Africans in North American colonies through the abolition of slavery to contemporary U.S. foreign policy, the conference will delve into the influence of African American individuals, movements, and institutions and their role in shaping the policy framework defining American foreign policy. The emergence of Pan-Africanism, the importance of the African independence movement, the role of the Black Church, and United Nations and State Department politics will be addressed.

With this mix of academics, diplomats and public and private sector leaders the result will be a cutting-edge conversation and policy discussion that will provide a clearer insight into future policy options and strategies for affecting change to future policies. The symposium will aim to facilitate a better understanding by all Americans of the contributions African Americans have made in civic participation and policy formation relative to U.S. foreign policy. This effort has the potential to lead to more informed policies and influence future practices by increasing the fund of knowledge through this forum for discussion.

African Americans & U.S. Foreign Policy is grateful for financial support from the Boston University Humanities Foundation, Blue Cross/ Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and USAID.