Abstract

This essay considers the international activism of Robert and Mabel Williams, African American militants, and how they used political exile, travel, and media to build a cultural bridge to China. Throughout the 1960s, the Williamses distinguished African Americans and Chinese as constitutive members of an imaginary global community that was challenging white supremacy and Western imperialism. I concisely frame and contextualize the Williamses' relationship and collaborations with the People's Republic of China, paying close attention to the benefits and limitations of this venture. Their cultural traffic and confluence works as an important lens through which to understand and unpack how China's projects of socialism, anticolonialism, and support for black liberation affected the internationalist politics of one radical couple. This history demonstrates successful moments of interchange and interconnection, as well as the various disconnects, omissions, and miscommunications within black liberation movements' efforts to build transnational and international connections.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6490
Print ISSN
0003-0678
Pages
pp. 929-953
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-06
Open Access
No
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