This article examines early Palestinian engagements with multiple facets of the Black American struggle for freedom through a content analysis of influential Palestinian press outlets in Arabic prior to 1967. It argues that, since the 1930s, Palestinian intellectuals with strong anti-colonial views linked anti-Black racism in the United States to larger imperial and Cold War dynamics, and that they connected Black American mobilizations against racism to decolonization movements around the world. This article also examines Mahmoud Darwish's early analytical writings on race as a social construct in both the U.S. and Israeli contexts. Understanding these early engagements sheds light on subsequent developments in Black-Palestinian transnational solidarity and on Palestinian Afro-Arab cultural imaginaries.
This article traces the evolving discourse on the "right of refugee return"among the Palestinian citizens of Israel during the first decade of Israeli statehood, with emphasis on the role of the local Arabic press in shaping and reflecting that discourse. More particularly, it focuses on al-Ittihad, the organ of the communist party (MAKI), which paid the greatest attention to the refugee issue. In tracing the party's shift from a humanistic/anti-imperialist stance on the issue to one emphasizing the refugees' inalienable right to return, the article sheds light on MAKI's political strategy vis-à-vis the Palestinian minority. It also illustrates the political vibrancy in the early years of the community, generally viewed simplistically in terms of a pre-1967 quiescence and post-1967 politicization.