Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5959bf8d4d-km8cc Total loading time: 0.72 Render date: 2022-12-07T21:53:56.587Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

12 - Fighting Jim Crow in a World of Empire

from Part II - Competing Perspectives

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 November 2021

Brooke L. Blower
Affiliation:
Boston University
Andrew Preston
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Get access

Summary

Race was never far from conversations about empire. In 1911 an international collection of ethnologists, social scientists, and reformers gathered at the University of London to discuss the problem of the color line. Had the Universal Races Congress functioned as nothing but a “World Grievance Committee” – to borrow a phrase from the sociologist and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) co-founder W. E. B. Du Bois – it would have served a vital role. Yet for all the value of fostering discussion between “so-called white and so-called coloured people,” as conveners labeled them, the Congress’s greatest contribution came in its intellectual interventions. Speakers like Du Bois and Sioux physician Charles Eastman arrived with cornerstone American legacies of dispossession and chattel slavery weighing heavy on their minds. What scholars now might frame as ravening settler colonialism, Du Bois, Eastman, and others discussed in terms of expansion, independence, development, and disfranchisement. Though the organizers called them “inter-racial problems,” Du Bois recognized the very notion of race as the concept that made these problems all of a piece. He welcomed the conference’s rejection of race as a scientific fact, and of racial differences as immutable or tethered to innate capacity. For too long, he noted, scientific racism had provided cover for “widespread and decisive political action” in service to white supremacy – from “the disfranchisement of American negroes” to “the subjugation of India and the partition of Africa.” For too long, racial discourses had reinforced racialized power.1

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×