A RENAMED STATE DEPARTMENT CAFE, A BLACK DIPLOMAT AND THE INDIA CONNECTION

What’s the link between the renaming of a cafeteria in the State Department this week, the overwhelming White domination of American diplomacy, and India?

The answer lies in the life and work of Terence A Todman – the first African-American diplomat to have attained the rank of career ambassador in the United States (US).

In 1952, when a 26-year old Todman went to join the State Department after clearing his exam, the department rejected him. Over four decades later, in 1995, in an interview as a part of an oral history project of American diplomacy, Todman recalled the personnel department chief telling him, “You are not the kind of person we can use. We need in the US foreign service people who are 100% identifiable as Americans…your accent is not such that you would be readily and immediately identifiable as American.”

But Todman persisted and made it, for the head of the Office of South Asian Affairs – to which he was assigned – agreed to give him a chance.

News Source : Hindustan Times

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