Du Bois’s Challenge
This book explores how social movements in black America, Japan, and Okinawa formed Afro-Asian solidarities to fight white supremacy during the twentieth century, resulting in the emergence of race as a political category of struggle. It takes W. E. B. Du Bois's cue to look at race contact between black America and Japan as a theoretical, epistemic, and political challenge to examine four cases of transpacific strivings drawn from intellectual and radical political activities in black America, Japan, and Okinawa. It discusses the role of pro-Japan provocation in organizing the black “counterpublic sphere” in the United States and explains how this cross-racial alliance helped articulate the discourse of black radicalism and internationalism during the first half of the twentieth century. The book argues that the dynamism of the culture of liberation enabled the participants of Afro-Asian solidarity projects to move in what Du Bois calls a “racial groove,” and to revise the blueprint of black radicalism, one anchored on a meaning of human liberation that exceeded the boundaries of nations and modern political thought.
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