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NASA and the Long Civil Rights Movement$
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Brian C. Odom and Stephen P. Waring

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066202

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066202.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 27 November 2021

Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez and Guion Bluford

Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez and Guion Bluford

The Last Cold War Race Battle

(p.145) 7 Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez and Guion Bluford
NASA and the Long Civil Rights Movement

Cathleen Lewis

University Press of Florida

Cathleen Lewis argues that throughout the Cold War, race played an important role in foreign policy with the United States painfully aware that its civil rights situation could have an adverse impact on foreign policy ambitions abroad. The USSR preyed on that U.S. sensitivity, calling the country out on its failures. In the early 1980s, almost a decade after U.S. foreign policy had all but abandoned race as a Cold War issue, the race issue reemerged, albeit briefly when the USSR launched the first black man into space, Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez, beating NASA’s own Guion Bluford. This final battle over race in the Cold War ultimately revealed American domestic progress and the hollowness of Soviet space stunts.

Keywords:   Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez, Guion Bluford, Cold War, Soviet Union, race, foreign policy

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