Top Ten of 2016 – #5 – “End the Autocracy of Color”: African Americans and Global Visions of Freedom

Editor’s Note: In the weeks leading up to the new year, please help us celebrate 2016 at the Imperial & Global Forum by checking out the past year’s 10 most popular posts.

5. “End the Autocracy of Color”: African Americans and Global Visions of Freedom

Keisha N. Blain*
University of Iowa

Historically, black men and women in the United States frequently linked national and geopolitical concerns. Recognizing that the condition of black people in the United States was “but a local phase of a world problem,” black activists articulated global visions of freedom and employed a range of strategies intent on shaping foreign policies and influencing world events.

John Q. Adams
John Q. Adams

During the early twentieth century, John Q. Adams, an African American journalist, called on people of African descent to link their experiences and concerns with those of people of color in other parts of the globe. Born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1848, Adams moved to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1886, where he became associate editor, and subsequent owner, of the Appeal newspaper. The paper’s debut coincided with key historical developments of the period including the hardening of U.S. Jim Crow segregation laws, the rising tide of anti-immigration sentiment, and the rapid growth of American imperial expansion overseas. [continue reading]

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