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By John Gruesser

In The Empire in another country and the Empire at Home, John Cullen Gruesser establishes that African American writers on the flip of the 20 th century spoke back greatly and idiosyncratically to abroad enlargement and its implications for family race relatives. He contends that the paintings of those writers considerably informs not just African American literary reviews but additionally U.S. political history.

Focusing on authors who explicitly attach the empire in a foreign country and the empire at domestic ( James Weldon Johnson, Sutton Griggs, Pauline E. Hopkins, W.E.B. Du Bois, and others), Gruesser examines U.S. black participation in, aid for, and resistance to growth. Race constantly trumped empire for African American writers, who followed positions in line with the consequences they believed growth might have on blacks at domestic. Given the complexity of the debates over empire and rapidity with which occasions within the Caribbean and the Pacific replaced within the past due 19th and early 20th centuries, it's going to come as no shock that those authors usually didn't continue mounted positions on imperialism. Their stances trusted numerous elements, together with the overseas position, the presence or absence of African American squaddies inside of a selected textual content, the level of the author’s occupation, and a given text’s dating to express established and literary traditions.

No topic what their disposition used to be towards imperialism, the very fact of U.S. enlargement allowed and in lots of situations pressured black writers to grapple with empire. they typically used texts approximately enlargement to handle the placement dealing with blacks at domestic in the course of a interval during which their citizenship rights, and their very lifestyles, have been more and more in jeopardy.

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A poem about the Cuban leader by an African American writer who produced a substantial body of poetry over a long career, Harper’s “Maceo” uses the death of its subject as the occasion for an extended appeal to God to bring about the day when people will embrace Christ and follow his example. Although the poem resembles those of Coffin and McGirt by portraying Maceo as a heroic figure who fell fighting for his people’s independence, at heart it is a lament for humankind’s failure to embrace freedom, which makes martyrs such as Maceo necessary.

S. black soldiers who served in Cuba. 4 Wheeler attests to the participation—but not the leadership—of African American soldiers in the “heroic charge” and “gallant fight” at Las Guasimas and the capture “under a murderous fire” of the Spanish entrenchments on San Juan Hill and the artillery support that proved indispensable during that battle, as well as noting the unanimous commendation of black soldiers by their white commanders. He goes on to suggest that Cashin’s book offers hope for a solution of the nation’s race problem by demonstrating that blacks can elevate themselves morally and intellectually through “education, discipline, and judicious training” (xiv).

Washington, N. B. Wood, and Fannie Barrier Williams note in their celebration of black soldiers in A New Negro for a New Century (1900), this assertion contradicted some of Roosevelt’s own public statements about the battle. ” I recall when we were lying in reserve at San Juan and we got our orders to move forward, we struck the Ninth Cavalry as we charged up Kettle Hill, and the Ninth and the Rough Riders went up absolutely intermingled, so that no one could tell whether it was the Rough Riders or the Ninth who came forward with greater freedom to offer up their lives for their country.

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