This oasis opposite the United Nations honors a titan of 20th century diplomacy. It was named in 1979 for Ralph Johnson Bunche (1904-1971), an American educator, political scientist, and United Nations mediator. The son of a barber and grandson of a former slave, Bunche was born in Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from Jefferson High School in Los Angeles and in 1927 from the University of California at Los Angeles, where he was valedictorian and a star athlete. Bunche received an M.A. in political science (1928) and a Ph.D. (1934) at Harvard University. He did postdoctoral research in anthropology at Northwestern University, the London School of Economics, and Capetown University in South Africa. From 1928 to 1950 Bunche served on the faculty of Howard University, where he established and chaired its political science department. He wrote A World View of Race (1936), and also collaborated with Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal on a study of blacks in America titled An American Di…
Learn about the trials and triumphs of the black experience in the United States and how New York City honors black history in our parks today.
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