African American Activism in the International Political Economy
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: University of Illinois Press
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How can a denigrated racial group with minimal resources participate in international politics and make even minimal progress toward their goals? I am fascinated that black activists over the course of two centuries have tried to work with similarly situated African-descended populations outside of Africa, ...
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I could not have completed this work without the loving support of my family and extended family. They have always encouraged my dreams and supported my work. However, I must also acknowledge other people who played important roles in bringing this work to fruition. ...
1. A New Take on an Old Term: Operationalizing the Diaspora Concept
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For many students of African American politics, the African diaspora is a paradox.1 On the one hand, a careful researcher can find many instances of political activity between African-descended populations situated outside of Africa. But on the other hand, there is no single African country with which to associate the diaspora. ...
2. An Exploration of the Relevant Literature
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There is a plethora of studies on the diaspora concept from different perspectives. Most of those that influenced my study are of historic origin, but there are a few from the political science discipline. Because my emphasis is on political activism, the voluminous literature on cultural aspects of diasporas is not elaborated on in this work.1 ...
3. Still Waters: Understanding the Political Economy of the 1920s
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To understand the creation and development of the Black Star Line, it is necessary to look at the international political economy1 of the era in which it functioned. Doing so contextualizes the study and assists in our understanding of some critical choices made by the BSL board of directors and its parent organization, ...
4. Home Dock: The United States and the BSL
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For many reasons, the politics and economic positions of the United States are important to this study. First, it is in the United States that the Black Star Line was launched. At the time, the U.S. economy was the rising industrial power in the world. As a result, it was in the United States that workers had the best opportunity to make stable wages. ...
5. Charting the Black Atlantic: The UNIA and Its Location in African American Politics
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Now we will survey the politics of the African diaspora, finally focusing upon the UNIA, the parent organization of the BSL. This discussion examines the UNIA’s purpose and organizational structure, especially how it linked with and functioned in the African diaspora. ...
6. Shipping Politics: The Case of the Black Star Line
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Up to this point, this book has been setting the stage for the UNIA’s effort to launch a race-based shipping line that would connect the diaspora both politically and economically, and then link the diaspora to its homeland, focusing specifically on Liberia. ...
7. Stormy Seas: Government Obstruction of BSL Transnational Goals
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Purchasing a ship through the shipping board minimized the deceptive selling practices the BSL had experienced in the private market. Tedious USSB bureaucratic processing delayed procurement, however. Any ship purchase had to be approved by several departments, including the ship sales division, the legal department, ...
8. Marooned: The Rise and Fall of the Black Star Line
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The Black Star Line’s performance can also be evaluated as a diaspora project designed to ameliorate political and economic problems. Sheffer highlights characteristics that I found useful for analyzing this venture: ideologies, political structure, financial base, education/skill levels, mobilization strategies, channels of influence, ...
9. Clear Waters: Implications for the Study of Diasporas
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What does the Black Star Line tell us about diasporas and their political possibilities? First, it demonstrates that there is and has been an African diaspora operating politically. Even as ephemeral as the BSL effort was, it impacted politics in the Caribbean region and gave colonial powers pause in West Africa. ...
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The diaspora concept has been used successfully in cultural and historical research. One purpose of this study has been to determine if the diaspora concept is applicable in political economy studies of transnational politics, particularly by African diaspora activists. ...
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Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2008