The Insistent Call
Rhetorical Moments in Black Anticolonialism, 1929-1937
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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When I think of these words appearing in print I am inclined to pinch myself, not only because clearly I need waking up, but also because a good pinch would remind me how it feels to write a book. All scholarly labor is collective and so was this project. My collective begins with Kirt Wilson, who has been a great adviser and an even better friend. The book also benefited from the advice and insight of my...
Introduction: Rhetoric and Diaspora
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In 1924, at a Civic Club gathering to celebrate Jessie Fauset’s book There Is Confusion, Alain Locke was asked to edit a special issue of Survey Graphic magazine. Locke’s objective was to shed light on African America’s Harlem and to document the sociological and artistic developments that were creating a “black mecca” in a New York neighborhood.1 The result of his labors, eventually published as...
1. The Politics and Practices of Colonialism
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Black anticolonial rhetoric emerged in the context of America’s history with colonialism. What “colonialism” was (is) and America’s relationship to it are issues of public and scholarly debate today. This chapter explores colonialism from both historical and theoretical perspectives in a search to understand the implications of colonialist discourse for domestic rhetorical cultures. My purpose is to provide an...
2. Black Ethos and the Rhetoric of Pan-Africa
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In the previous chapter, I sketched a history of imperialism and identified the politics and cultural practices with which colonialism operates. I argued that colonialist practices were founded on the belief that cultures were distinct and that commerce between them occurred through diffusion. According to the diffusionist paradigm, a more developed “metropolitan” culture always existed at the spatial “center” of...
3. “Unhappy Haiti”: U.S. Imperialism, Racial Violence, and the Politics of Diaspora
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In the first quarter of the twentieth century, people of African descent in the New World argued about what Africa could mean to its people in diaspora. These arguments took the form of speeches, essays, poems, newspapers, music, and visual art. By and large, much of this discourse operated within the same assumptions about the nature of culture and parameters of black public space that structured the Pan-African...
4. “Modern” Slaves: The Liberian Labor Crisis and the Politics of Race and Class
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The violence at Aux Cayes inspired the United States to initiate a policy called “Haitianzation,” which gradually ceded political power to Haitian authorities. The same violence encouraged people of African descent in the United States to question their relationships to Africa, its diaspora, and United States democracy. As the colonial policies of the occupation became public knowledge, black Americans recognized...
5. Ethiopia Is Now: J. A. Rogers and the Italian Invasion of Ethiopia
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When he responded to the Liberian labor crisis, George Schuyler expressed a black ethos that encompassed the African Diaspora and echoed with the voice of labor. His novel Slaves Today suggested that black workers around the globe shared a position within modernity: they were subject to the dehumanizing bureaucracies of the bourgeoisie and the imposition of racial thinking upon their daily lives...
6. Anticolonial Rhetoric and Black Civil Rights History
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In 1935, Samuel Daniels, founder of the Pan-African Reconstruction Association and a prominent Harlem race advocate, suggested that Haiti, Liberia, and Ethiopia should unite and form a single corporation. He reasoned that this economic conglomerate could compete with European imperialism and establish a transnational base of “African” political power. Although the idea may seem fanciful, even utopian...
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Page Count: 168
Publication Year: 2012