Vincent Intondi passionately spoke about his love for African-American history and nuclear weapons, and how he thinks they are linked. He stated that he, at one point, had to figure out a way to combine the two to students in the Sunnen Lounge on Feb. 13
Intondi, a history professor at Seminole State College in Orlando, Fla. and graduate of American University, travels to different schools to talk about the topic in his upcoming book “Links in the Same Chain: Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism and the Global African American Struggle for Freedom.”
In his lecture, the main focus was how African-Americans viewed nuclear weapons and how so many of them, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party, fought so heavily against nuclear weapons. He noted that many poets and writers, such as W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, protested the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
DuBois compared Truman to Hitler, calling him, “one of the greatest killers of our day.” He then ended the lecture by talking about President Obama and how he is pushing to end nuclear war.
John Chappell, a professor at Webster University who played a part in sponsoring this event with the history, politics and international relations department, met Intondi last summer in Japan. They both went on a trip to Japan where students and faculty explored how the Japanese want to eliminate nuclear weapons. They also learned that the Japanese want a closer relationship with the U.S.
“He did, while we were in Japan, a condensed version of this talk which was fantastic — not only the topic of this research, but the way he presented it, and I thought it was so compelling,” Chappell said. “So that’s when I got this idea and thought, ‘We need to get this guy to Webster.’”
Intondi’s goal is to help people who are interested in African-American studies to learn more about nuclear weapons and vice versa, and to put that history together.
“I think that’s what’s really missing today, in terms of activism in this country,” Intondi said.
Chappell hopes this will help raise awareness for students and faculty. He also hopes this will spread the word for Intondi and his book.
“I’m hoping that the next time we have him here, he publishes his book and it’ll be out there getting a lot of attention,” Chappell said. “It’s just a fantastic topic.”