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From Toussaint to Tupac

The Black International since the Age of Revolution

Edited by Michael O. West, William G. Martin, and Fanon Che Wilkins

Publication Year: 2009

This collection of essays explores black internationalism--the struggle against oppression, whether manifested in slavery, colonialism, or racism. Contributors focus on three moments in global black history: the American and Haitian revolutions, the Garvey movement and the Communist International following World War I, and the Black Power movement of the late twentieth century to demonstrate how black internationalism emerged and influenced events in particular localities, how participants in the various struggles communicated across natural and man-made boundaries, and how the black international aided resistance on the local level, creating a collective consciousness.

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. xi-xiii

This project has its origins in a search for something we could not find: a single volume that offers a broad overview of the black international in time and space—from the late 1700s, the Age of Revolution, to the present, and on both banks of the Atlantic, west and east, from the Americas to Africa and...

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pp. xv

As editors, our greatest debt is to our contributing authors, who have waited entirely too long for this project to come to fruition. In some small way, we hope, their patience and forbearance have been rewarded. As editors and authors, we could not have asked for more diligent and searching manuscript reviewers...

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Introduction: Contours of the Black International: From Toussaint to Tupac

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pp. 1-44

This volume is an act of recuperation. It seeks to reclaim and advance an old, but largely unheralded, story of black struggles worldwide. The subject, in brief, is black internationalism. The black international, we argue, has a single defining characteristic: struggle. Yet struggle, resistance to oppression by black folk, did not...


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The American Revolution and the Creation of a Global African World

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pp. 47-71

The second half of the eighteenth century was a period of breathtaking historical change. It was an era in which peoples and ideas, commodities and cultures, crossed and recrossed regional and national boundaries from multiple corners of the world, transforming global demographics, building new Atlantic...

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Haiti, I’m Sorry: The Haitian Revolution and the Forging of the Black International

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pp. 72-104

Revolution came to the French slaveholding colony of Saint Domingue in 1791. When the upheaval finally ran its course more than a decade later, in 1804, the landscape had been completely remade. In one fell swoop, the Haitian Revolution banished slavery, colonialism, and white supremacy, the three foundational institutions...


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Nothing Matters but Color: Transnational Circuits, the Interwar Caribbean, and the Black International

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pp. 107-129

In the first decades of the twentieth century, sojourners from the British West Indies created a migratory sphere that stretched from northern Venezuela to southern Harlem. Not only did individual lives and family units cross national boundaries, but so, too, did social networks, formal institutions, and cultural consumption...

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Providential Design: American Negroes and Garveyism in South Africa

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pp. 130-154

The Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA) was the largest and most widespread black movement ever. At its height in the early 1920s, the UNIA had an estimated 2 million members and sympathizers and more than 1,000 chapters in forty-three countries and territories...

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The Negro Question: The Communist International and Black Liberation in the Interwar Years

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pp. 155-175

At its inception in 1919 the Third Communist International, to its great credit, proclaimed its commitment to the liberation of Africa and people of African descent worldwide. In so doing, it became, perhaps, the era’s sole international white-led movement to adopt an avowedly antiracist platform, and it was certainly...


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Waiting for the Black Gandhi: Satyagraha and Black Internationalism

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pp. 179-196

Mohandas Gandhi, the Indian apostle of satyagraha, had the kind of serenity that disarmed even his fiercest opponents. Visitors came away overawed by his presence. His quiet demeanor yet sharp political analysis, while comforting to his allies, drove his enemies to distraction. Gandhi, in his lifetime, came to symbolize...

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The Rise and Fall of Caribbean Black Power

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pp. 197-214

In 1968, Black Power swept across the Caribbean. The immediate trigger was a riot in Jamaica following the banning from the island of Black Power activist and scholar Walter Rodney. Then a lecturer at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies, the Guyanese-born Rodney was attending a Black Power...

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Merely One Link in the Worldwide Revolution: Internationalism, State Repression, and the Black Panther Party, 1966–1972

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pp. 215-231

Recent scholarship has combined analytical frameworks from diplomatic and social history to explore the complex relationship between the black freedom struggle in the United States and such events as the Bandung Conference, African decolonization, resurgent pan-Africanism, and guerrilla movements in the...

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Hip Hop’s Diasporic Landscapes of Blackness

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pp. 232-258

The narrative of hip hop’s rise as a global cultural phenomenon has been a rather extraordinary one. I recall in the mid-1970s being dragged to local “street jams” among Manhattan’s Lower East Side public housing projects where neighborhood youth, almost exclusively African American and Puerto Rican, gathered...


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pp. 259-297

About the Authors

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pp. 299-301


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pp. 303-318

E-ISBN-13: 9781469605555
E-ISBN-10: 1469605554
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807833094
Print-ISBN-10: 0807833096

Page Count: 336
Illustrations: 2 line drawings, 1 map
Publication Year: 2009