Prominent African-Americans opposed atomic bombings

Generally unknown even to most A-bomb historians is that a number of African-Americans in 1945-46 who were then of prominence, or future prominence, tended often to be critics of the August 1945 atomic bombings of Japanese cities. Such criticism was far more likely in 1945-46 among such black Americans, including especially black writers, than among their liberal white counterparts in the United States.

About three-quarters of those dissident African-Americans were college educated, at a time when less than 1 percent of America’s adult black population had attended college. Most of the African-American critics were northerners, though the bulk of the nation’s black population in 1945-46 still lived in the American south.

Among the significant African-American critics in 1945-46 of the…

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