In the summer of 1919, which John Hope Franklin called "the greatest period of interracial strife the nation had ever witnessed," prominent and not so prominent blacks of an international mind prepared to take their appeal for justice to the Paris Peace Conference; there they hoped to gain Japanese support for an international solution to America's racial quagmire. A group which included Madame C. J. Walker, the millionaire cosmetics entrepreneur, A. Philip Randolph, labor leader and co-editor of the Messenger magazine, acclaimed journalist and anti-lynching activist Ida Wells Barnett, and Monroe Trotter, editor of the Boston Guardian newspaper, visited the Japanese delegation at the Waldorf Astoria in New York prior to the convening of the peace conference. They left with assurances that Japan's delegates were sympathetic to the plight of blacks in the United States. Members of the East Calvary Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia subsequently addressed a petition to the Japanese asking that they work "to remove prejudice and race discrimination in all nations of the earth."
"Japan: Ally in the Struggle Against Racism, 1919-1927,"
Contributions in Black Studies:
Vol. 12, Article 14.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cibs/vol12/iss1/14