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Geographies of LiberationThe Making of an Afro-Arab Political Imaginary$
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Alex Lubin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469612881

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469612881.001.0001

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Overlapping Diasporas

Overlapping Diasporas

(p.18) Chapter One Overlapping Diasporas
Geographies of Liberation

Alex Lubin

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses the formation of an African American diasporic imagination that was deeply influenced by Jewish diasporic politics and European Jewish Zionism. Beginning in the 1860s, African Americans traveled to Ottoman Palestine as slaves traveling with masters or as free black ministers in search of holy lands. The chapter examines the politics of diaspora and early pan-Africanism by identifying the comparisons black intellectuals drew between the European “Jewish question” and the condition of blacks within the United States. Both groups developed political imaginaries that responded to racial modernity. In the late nineteenth century, European Jews confronted the Dreyfus affair at the same time that black Americans witnessed how their nation failed to realize Reconstruction and allowed the ascendency of Jim Crow legislation.

Keywords:   African American, diasporic imagination, Jewish diasporic politics, European Jewish Zionism, Ottoman Palestine, political imaginaries, Jim Crow, Dreyfus affair

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