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Escape from New YorkThe New Negro Renaissance beyond Harlem$
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Davarian L. Baldwin and Minkah Makalani

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780816677382

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816677382.001.0001

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The New Negro of the Pacific: How African Americans Forged Solidarity with Japan

The New Negro of the Pacific: How African Americans Forged Solidarity with Japan

(p.127) 5 The New Negro of the Pacific: How African Americans Forged Solidarity with Japan
Escape from New York

Yuichiro Onishi

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter explores how African Americans forged solidarity with Japan in the years between 1917 and 1922 by focusing on Hubert Harrison’s relationship with the Japanese in New Negro movement mobilization. Harrison (1883–1927), an African Caribbean immigrant from St. Croix of the Dutch West Indies and more famously known as the “father of Harlem radicalism,” knew very well why Japan mattered to African America and the darker world during and after World War I. This chapter argues that Harrison was the central figure that constituted the “New Negro” as a political category of struggle among Harlem-based intellectual-activists; as the “voice of Harlem radicalism,” he was mainly responsible for communicating the categorical imperatives of the New Negro to reach out, within, across, and beyond myriad Afrodiasporic experiences and communities. It also considers how, in the immediate aftermath of World War I, the iconography of Japan as the New Negro of the Pacific helped to open another space to critique white supremacy: feminism.

Keywords:   white supremacy, African Americans, Japan, Hubert Harrison, New Negro, Harlem radicalism, World War I, Pacific, feminism

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