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Contagions of Empire – Scientific Racism, Sexuality, and Black Military Workers Abroad, 1898-1948 - North Carolina Scholarship Online
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Contagions of Empire: Scientific Racism, Sexuality, and Black Military Workers Abroad, 1898-1948

Khary Oronde Polk

Abstract

From 1898 onward, the expansion of American militarism and empire abroad increasingly relied on black labor, even as policy remained inflected both by scientific racism and by fears of contagion. Black men and women were mobilized for service in the Spanish-Cuban-American War under the War Department’s belief that southern blacks carried an immunity against tropical diseases. Later, in World Wars I and II, black troops were stigmatized as members of a contagious “venereal race” and were subjected to experimental medical treatments meant to curtail their sexual desires. By turns feared as conta ... More

Keywords: American militarism, Black troops, labor, tropical disease, scientific racism, immunity, contagious, empire, sexual, warfare

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9781469655505
Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021 DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655505.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Khary Oronde Polk, author
Amherst College