This concluding chapter contemplates the present state of Afro-Asian relations and begins by thinking about the connections that exist between the past and the present in which African Americans and Asian Americans find themselves. It focuses on the early twentieth century as a way to elaborate the prevalent, late twentieth-century belief that Afro-Asian relations have always been and will always be primarily hostile because of essentialized cultural differences. The most helpful way to understand the long span of Afro-Asian American history is to think of the past as a corrective that develops an unquestioned account of that history and as a gloss that explicates and contextualizes that relationship. The book concludes that writers were already writing and anticipating the early twenty-first century's obsessions; Asian American and African American cultural productions already indicate alternative narratives of American literary history that look beyond traditional field markers.
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