UNITED NATIONS: The Time of the Africans

One by one, the proud, solemn black men advanced through the murmuring chamber to take their new-won seats. Carrying themselves with graven dignity, often combining ritual facial scars with impeccable European manners, they came from lands of jungle and desert whose very names were scarcely known to the West—Chad, Gabon, Dahomey, Upper Volta. The headlines went to Dwight Eisenhower, Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro. But in the sweep of history, the 15th U.N. Assembly might be regarded as the time of the Africans.

All told, 14 new nations, 13 of them African, were...

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