Graduate Lecture 'The Holocaust and The African-American Freedom Struggle'


16.30 - 17.30 uur

Vrije Universiteit, Medical Faculty Building, Room MF-A311

Graduate Lecture 'The Holocaust and The African-American Freedom Struggle'

prof.dr. Clive Webb

Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen

Kunst, cultuur en geschiedenis


The VU Graduate School of Humanities, VU PhD candidate Lonneke Geerlings, and the Huizinga Research Institute and Graduate School of Cultural History, cordially invite you to the Graduate Lecture by prof.dr. Clive Webb (Univ. of Sussex, Brighton, UK): 'The Holocaust and The African-American Freedom Struggle'.

This lecture draws a connection between the domestic struggle for racial reform with broader international forces by examining how the Holocaust helped shape the American civil rights movement. African Americans drew parallels between Jim Crow and Nazi Germany almost immediately after Adolf Hitler assumed the chancellorship of Germany in 1933. They exposed the hypocrisy of white Americans who condemned the Nazi persecution of Jews while still tolerating violent discrimination against their own nation’s black population. Once the United States had taken up arms against the forces of fascism, black activists pressed even harder their comparison between Nazism and Jim Crow to warn that the United States was undermining the democratic ideals for which it was supposedly fighting. Following the war, African Americans continued to evoke memories of the Holocaust as a means to promote racial equality. The wartime fight against foreign fascism might be over, they argued, but the battle against domestic fascism still needed to be won.

Clive Webb is Professor of Modern American History at the University of Sussex in Brighton (United Kingdom). He is specialized in the history of race and ethnicity in Britain and the United States. His first book, Fight Against Fear, focused on the reaction of the small Jewish minority in the American South to the black civil rights struggle. A second book, Rabble Rousers, looked at white extremists who used violence to resist civil rights reform. Most recently, he co-wrote with William Carrigan of Rowan University in New Jersey Forgotten Dead, a book that assesses mob violence against Mexicans in the United States. His current research focuses on the historical relationship between Britain and the United States including such issues as race, politics and culture. For more details see

The lecture will be followed by drinks.

Download the poster.