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Black Empire: The Masculine Global Imaginary of Caribbean Intellectuals in the United States, 1914-1962 (New Americanists)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Black Empire, Michelle Ann Stephens examines the ideal of “transnational blackness” that emerged in the work of radical black intellectuals from the British West Indies in the early twentieth century. Focusing on the writings of Marcus Garvey, Claude McKay, and C. L. R. James, Stephens shows how these thinkers developed ideas of a worldwide racial movement and federated global black political community that transcended the boundaries of nation-states. Stephens highlights key geopolitical and historical events that gave rise to these writers’ intellectual investment in new modes of black political self-determination. She describes their engagement with the fate of African Americans within the burgeoning U.S. empire, their disillusionment with the potential of post–World War I international organizations such as the League of Nations to acknowledge, let alone improve, the material conditions of people of color around the world, and the inspiration they took from the Bolshevik Revolution, which offered models of revolution and community not based on nationality.

Stephens argues that the global black political consciousness she identifies was constituted by both radical and reactionary impulses. On the one hand, Garvey, McKay, and James saw freedom of movement as the basis of black transnationalism. The Caribbean archipelago—a geographic space ideally suited to the free movement of black subjects across national boundaries—became the metaphoric heart of their vision. On the other hand, these three writers were deeply influenced by the ideas of militarism, empire, and male sovereignty that shaped global political discourse in the early twentieth century. As such, their vision of transnational blackness excluded women’s political subjectivities. Drawing together insights from American, African American, Caribbean, and gender studies, Black Empire is a major contribution to ongoing conversations about nation and diaspora.

Synopsis:

Expores the writings of Marcus Garvey, Claude McKay and C.L.R. James and argues that these black transnationals articulated a novel conception of black identity that reconfigures the meaning of American nationality.

About the Author

Michelle Ann Stephens is Associate Professor of English, American Studies, and African American Studies at Mount Holyoke College.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780822335887
Editor:
Pease, Donald E.
Publisher:
Duke University Press
Author:
Stephens, Michelle A.
Author:
Stephens, Michelle Ann
Author:
Pease, Donald E.
Subject:
History
Subject:
Intellectual life
Subject:
Men's Studies - Masculinity
Subject:
Americana
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - Histor
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General
Subject:
African Americans--Race identity
Subject:
African Americans--Politics and government
Subject:
African American Studies
Subject:
African American Studies-Black Heritage
Subject:
Gender Studies-Mens Studies
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
New Americanists
Publication Date:
20050731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
5 bandw photos
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » African American Studies » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Mens Studies
History and Social Science » Latin America » Caribbean
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Black Empire: The Masculine Global Imaginary of Caribbean Intellectuals in the United States, 1914-1962 (New Americanists) New Trade Paper
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Product details 384 pages Duke University Press - English 9780822335887 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Expores the writings of Marcus Garvey, Claude McKay and C.L.R. James and argues that these black transnationals articulated a novel conception of black identity that reconfigures the meaning of American nationality.
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