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Congo Love SongAfrican American Culture and the Crisis of the Colonial State$
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Ira Dworkin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469632711

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469632711.001.0001

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Booker T. Washington’s African at Home

Booker T. Washington’s African at Home

(p.78) Chapter 3 Booker T. Washington’s African at Home
Congo Love Song

Ira Dworkin

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines Washington’s service as Vice President of the Congo Reform Association (CRA) as a means of considering more broadly the relationship of HBCUs to Africa. Although Washington never traveled to Africa, he was directly influenced by Sheppard, his former Hampton student. As the founding principal of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, Washington, the most prominent African American leader of his day, brings the Congo into relief as an important nexus for developing ideas about race, ideology, and empire in American culture in ways that are visible in everything from his famous 1895 address at the Atlanta Cotton States Exposition to his influential collaboration with sociologist Robert E. Park. Washington’s professional mobility can help scholars expand Gilroy’s conception of the “Black Atlantic” to include HBCUs as critical contact zones for emerging understandings of a dynamic U.S. relationship with Africa.

Keywords:   Booker T. Washington, Atlanta Cotton States Exposition, Tuskegee Institute, Black Atlantic, Congo Reform Association (CRA), Robert E. Park, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

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