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Chapter 12 - Narratives of Black and Chinese Citizenship after Plessy v. Ferguson

from Part IV - Remapping the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 April 2021

Shirley Moody-Turner
Affiliation:
Pennsylvania State University
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Summary

At the end of the nineteenth century, the US annexation of Hawaii (1898) and imperial war in the Philippines (1899–1902) marked a radical shift in East-West relations and US foreign and domestic policies on the Asia-Pacific. This decade witnessed the simultaneous expansion of US empire in the Pacific and the proliferation of exclusion and restriction policies against Asian immigrants on US soil. This chapter mines the pages of the most influential of early Black literary magazines, the Colored American Magazine, and the lesser-studied works of one of its most celebrated contributors, Pauline E. Hopkins, to investigate the complex cross-racial and interethnic tensions and alliances that occur in Black writings from this period. Hopkins’s rhetoric of monogenesis and interracial kinship limned both the possibilities and limits of Afro-Asian linkages and connections against the US empire-state. A minor yet persistent theme in later African American and Asian American writings, this idea of shared kinship sought to challenge US colonialism and its taxonomic approach to racial difference. These writings contribute to an emerging Black American discourse on the Asia-Pacific.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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