🔒 The First Virtue: On Ambedkar

The great historian C. Vann Woodward, author of The Strange Career of Jim Crow, a book that Martin Luther King, Jr. described as the “historical bible of the civil rights movement,” recount not just as an icon for ‘untouchables’ bus in his autobiography how the writing of the book came to be shaped by an unusual encounter: A new and extraordinary foreign perspective came my way during the Second World War, while I was on duty as a naval officer in India. With a letter of introduction in hand, I sought out Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, acclaimed leader of India’s untouchables and later a figure of first importance in Indian constitutional history. He received me cordially at his home in New Delhi and plied me with questions about the “black untouchables” of America and how their plight might be compared with that of his own people. He also took time to

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