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Anywhere But Here

Anywhere But Here: Black Intellectuals in the Atlantic World and Beyond

Kendahl Radcliffe
Jennifer Scott
Anja Werner
Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Anywhere But Here
    Book Description:

    Anywhere But Herebrings together new scholarship on the cross-cultural experiences of intellectuals of African descent since the eighteenth century. The book embraces historian Paul Gilroy's prominent thesis inThe Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousnessand posits arguments beyondThe Black Atlantic'straditional organization and symbolism. Contributions are arranged into three sections that highlight the motivations and characteristics connecting a certain set of agents, thinkers, and intellectuals: the first, Re-ordering Worldviews: Rebellious Thinkers, Poets, Writers, and Political Architects; the second, Crafting Connections: Strategic and Ideological Alliances; and the third, Cultural Mastery in Foreign Spaces: Evolving Visions of Home and Identity.

    These essays expand categories and suggest patterns at play that have united individuals and communities across the African diaspora. They highlight the stories of people who, from their intercultural and often marginalized positions, challenged the status quo, created strategic (and at times, unexpected) international alliances, cultivated expertise and cultural fluency abroad, as well as crafted physical and intellectual spaces for their self-expression and dignity to thrive.

    What, for example, connects the eighteenth-century Igbo author Olaudah Equiano with 1940s literary figure Richard Wright; nineteenth-century expatriate anthropologist Antenor Fermin with 1960s Haitian émigrés to the Congo; Japanese Pan-Asianists and Southern Hemisphere Aboriginal activists with Jamaican-born Marcus Garvey; or Angela Davis with artists of the British Black Arts Movement, Ingrid Pollard and Zarina Bhimji? They are all part of a mapping that reaches across and beyond geographical, historical, and ideological boundaries typically associated with the "Black Atlantic." They reflect accounts of individuals and communities equally united in their will to seek out better lives, often, as the title suggests, "anywhere but here."

    eISBN: 978-1-62674-083-9
    Subjects: Sociology, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-2)
    Kendahl Radcliffe, Jennifer Scott and Anja Werner
  4. Introduction: The Black Atlantic Revisited: Methodological Considerations
    (pp. 3-24)
    Kendahl Radcliffe, Jennifer Scott and Anja Werner

    The year 2013 marked the twentieth anniversary of Paul Gilroy’s landmark work,The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness.¹ Since Gilroy’s groundbreaking 1993 publication, scholars have continued to refine their methodologies so as to deepen their understanding of the creation of knowledge across the African Diaspora.² Kim Butler makes the argument that “Diasporan study be defined not by the group itself but by the research question asked.”³ This enables us to understand a multitude of conditions and relationships, which have given rise to the Diaspora, allowing us to make new, interesting, and otherwise unseen connections across disparate groups or geographical...


    • Writing Against the Grain: Anténor Firmin and the Refutation of Nineteenth-Century European Race Science
      (pp. 27-46)
      Douglas W. Leonard

      January 1911. As the steamerMontréalentered the port of Cap-Haïtien, Anténor Firmin (1850–1911) could see “the troops massed in front of the wharf with arms and weapons of war. The city was calm and dreary like a necropolis.” The plenipotentiary minister of Haiti to London had been accused of “deserting his post” and was now being prevented from landing in Haiti, histerre natale.¹ Despite his long efforts to defend and represent Haiti, from France to England and the United States, he had fallen victim to one final political intrigue, forced into exile as a threat to the...

    • Activist in Exile: José da Natividade Saldanha, Free Man of Color in the Tropical Atlantic
      (pp. 47-64)
      Amy Caldwell de Farias

      José da Natividade Saldanha, the illegitimate son of a white priest and a poor black laundress, is an unfamiliar name to most historians and literary scholars of Brazil. Poet, lawyer, and secretary of the revolutionary government during the 1824 republican revolt in the port city of Recife, Pernambuco—known as the Confederation of the Equator (Confederação do Equador)¹—he is a salient example of a Black Atlantic rebel in the early nineteenth century. After the defeat of the movement, Saldanha traveled to Philadelphia, New York, Paris, Liverpool, Caracas, and Bogotá. During his travels, he attempted to garner support to revive...

    • Developmentalism, Tanzania, and the Arusha Declaration: Perspectives of an Observing Participant
      (pp. 65-96)
      Ikaweba Bunting

      Throughout the African Diaspora, in the United States in particular, acknowledgment of a historical African identity among enslaved Africans and their descendants has been a contentious and dangerous proposition. Consequently, black folks shied away from doing so. That fearful and shameful avoidance of Africa and an African relationship has persisted through the transition from chattel to wage slavery, Jim Crow apartheid, and so-called second-class citizenship. Malcolm X, among others, confronted and challenged the psychological and political dimensions of this alienation. For example, inMessage to the Grass Roots, he states:

      We are African, and we happen to be in America....


    • Garvey in Oz: The International Black Influence on Australian Aboriginal Political Activism
      (pp. 99-116)
      John Maynard

      The influence of Marcus Garvey’s black nationalist movement on the mobilization for Australian Aboriginal self-determination in the 1920s remains little known in the dominant Australian or international historical scholarship. Historians and political scientists have given scant regard to the interconnections between oppressed Aboriginal people and racialized struggles of people in other parts of the world. Instead, their focus has tended to emphasize a binary examination of race relations between blacks and whites. In particular, their studies of external influences on Aboriginal political activism have focused on white Christian and humanitarian influences in Australia. Furthermore, most studies of an organized Aboriginal...

    • Africa for Africans and Asia for Asians: Japanese Pan-Asianism and Its Impact in the Post–World War I Era
      (pp. 117-138)
      Keiko Araki

      Frustrated with Japan’s low status in world politics, a number of Japanese intellectuals and political leaders supported Pan-Asianism from the latter half of the nineteenth century through the end of World War II. Intellectually, Pan-Asianism began “as a reaction to Western colonialism and over time developed into national independence movements” in countries such as China, India, and the Philippines.¹ Asian revolutionaries, and in particular those exiled to Japan, shared the idea of Asian solidarity against Western colonialism. Early Pan-Asianists in Japan, therefore, strongly opposed the Meiji government’s course of Westernization and romantically embraced a distinctly Asian path.

      Japan had been...

    • Convenient Partnerships?: African American Civil Rights Leaders and the East German Dictatorship
      (pp. 139-164)
      Anja Werner

      In 2006 a multiauthored volume was published tracing the relationship between the United States and the Communist East German (GDR, or German Democratic Republic, 1949–1989) dictatorship. From its cover smiled Angela Davis dressed in a blouse of the East German Communist youth organization (FDJ, or Free German Youth) standing next to the equally smiling dictator Erich Honecker, the general secretary of the Socialist Unity Party’s (SED) Central Committee and, after 1976, also the East German head of state.¹ While covering a broad range of subjects, however, none of the articles actually focused on the connection between African American civil...


    • Abdias Nascimento: Afro-Brazilian Painting Connections Across the Diaspora
      (pp. 167-186)
      Kimberly Cleveland

      Until his death in 2011 at the age of ninety-seven, Abdias Nascimento was one of the most important individuals of the organized black movement in Brazil. He embodied the spirit and goals of the fight for racial equality that grew over the course of the twentieth century. A political nuisance for more than one administration, and jailed more than once for his oppositional views, by the start of this century, however, he had become an internationally lauded figure. In 2005 the Brazilian government was one of several sponsors that honored the nonagenarian with an exhibition at the National Archives in...

    • “Of Remarkable Omens in My Favour”: Olaudah Equiano, Two Identities, and the Cultivation of a Literary Economic Exchange
      (pp. 187-208)
      Edward L. Robinson Jr.

      For an aspiring writer of African descent, the end of the eighteenth century marked a favorable period of remarkable literary opportunity, sociopolitical craftiness, and religious collaboration.¹The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, The African, Written by Himself(1789) was part of a growing genre of black autobiographies designed to write people of African descent into the existing world order emerging in the modern Atlantic communities of the Western Hemisphere.² Equiano was at the top of this burgeoning group of black writers, whose experiences and awareness of Europe and America marked the flowering of a...

    • Ruptures and Disrupters: The Photographic Landscapes of Ingrid Pollard and Zarina Bhimji as Revisionist History of Great Britain
      (pp. 209-228)
      Kimberli Gant

      British artists Ingrid Pollard and Zarina Bhimji are indirectly related—not in the familial sense, but as artistic colleagues. They were included in several texts¹ featuring British artists of color and/or artists with work concerned with social, political, and cultural identity. Additionally, Pollard and Bhimji have participated in at least one group exhibition together.² While their respective oeuvres have placed them within the broad genre of “Black British” art, encasing their work and careers with other internationally renowned British artists such as Lubiana Humid, Eddie Chambers, Sonia Boyce, Allan deSouza, and so forth, Pollard and Bhimji have yet to be...

    • From Port-au-Prince to Kinshasa: A Haitian Journey from the Americas to Africa
      (pp. 229-254)
      Danielle Legros Georges

      During the 1960s and 1970s hundreds of young Haitian professionals moved to and worked in the Republic of the Congo (later renamed the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zaire, and again the Democratic Republic of the Congo).¹ With little opportunity to practice in their fields in Haiti, and with a number of citizens facing harassment or persecution under the regime of François Duvalier, most saw the recruitment of Francophone professionals and technicians (primarily educators, but also doctors, engineers, lawyers, and other professionals) by the United Nations (UN) and the nascent Congolese government as an opportunity to escape repression and start...

  8. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 255-258)
  9. Index
    (pp. 259-270)