Catalogue


African America and Haiti : emigration and Black nationalism in the nineteenth century /
Chris Dixon.
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2000.
description
xii, 249 p. : map
ISBN
0313310637 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2000.
isbn
0313310637 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
3649571
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Chris Dixon teaches American History at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-10-01:
Dixon's book is a well-researched, finely written study of James Theodore Holly, who emigrated in 1861 to the Republic of Haiti from the US, along with 2,000 other blacks, to escape from American racism. This is not a biography; rather it is an examination of the many facets of a social movement encompassing black nationalism, racial identity, elite behavior, and diaspora anxieties. Dixon (Univ. of Newcastle, Australia) obtained archival material and African American newspapers for his study. He begins with the years 1773-1830, when the attitudes about Haiti, the first black republic, were formed; then 1843-1854, when free blacks' disappointments sparked nationalism and a desire to leave for a black country. Dixon continues through 1854-1860, when black intellectuals debated the relative merits of new homes in Africa (Martin Delany) or Haiti (Holly); the creation of the Haitian Bureau of Emigration, headed by a white abolitionist, James Redpath; emigration from 1861 to 1863; and disillusionment. The author consistently relates this emigration to social movements among African Americans down to 20th-century black nationalism. A superb piece of scholarship. Upper-division undergraduates and above. ; Howard University
Reviews
Review Quotes
'œ...a well-researched, finely written study...[a] superb piece of scholarship.'' Choice
'œScholars working in the nineteenth century, in African American history, or in the African diaspora should read this important book.'' Australasian Journal of American Studies
'œWell written and documented, African American and Haiti will benefit any scholar, teacher, or citizen interested in the complexities of the black struggle for justice in the nascent stages of the civil rights movement.'' The Journal of American History
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
While much has been written about the antebellum African American interest in emigration to Africa, the equally significant interest in Haitian emigration has been largely overlooked. Although free blacks spurned attempts by the American Colonization Society to "return" them to Africa, during the 1820s, and again during the 1850s and early 1860s, as conditions for African Americans became ever more precarious, thousands of blacks left the U.S. for Haiti searching for civic freedom and economic opportunity in the world's first independent black republic. Such prospects caught the attention of not only the African American leadership but of the black populace as well. In discussing the growing interest in Haitian emigration, Dixon provides ongoing discussions concerning black nationalism as an ideology. While Haiti was a potent example of the possibility of black liberation, for black leaders such as James T. Holly, the island republic had not reached its true potential and was, therefore, an imperfect example of black nationalism. By carrying Christian civilization to Haiti, these African Americans hoped to transform it into an exemplar of black nationhood. There was, as Dixon argues, a clearly emerging ideology of black nationalism during the nineteenth century. However, the main principles of that ideology were marked by definite condescension toward non-American blacks that reflected many of the racial values of white America. Anticipating material comfort and political equality in their adopted nation, many emigrants instead encountered disease and suffering.
Long Description
While much has been written about the antebellum African American interest in emigration to Africa, the equally significant interest in Haitian emigration has been largely overlooked. Although free blacks spurned attempts by the American Colonization Society to return them to Africa, during the 1820s, and again during the 1850s and early 1860s, as conditions for African Americans became ever more precarious, thousands of blacks left the U.S. for Haiti searching for civic freedom and economic opportunity in the world's first independent black republic. Such prospects caught the attention of not only the African American leadership but of the black populace as well. In discussing the growing interest in Haitian emigration, Dixon provides ongoing discussions concerning black nationalism as an ideology. While Haiti was a potent example of the possibility of black liberation, for black leaders such as James T. Holly, the island republic had not reached its true potential and was, therefore, an imperfect example of black nationalism. By carrying Christian civilization to Haiti, these African Americans hoped to transform it into an exemplar of black nationhood. There was, as Dixon argues, a clearly emerging ideology of black nationalism during the nineteenth century. However, the main principles of that ideology were marked by definite condescension toward non-American blacks that reflected many of the racial values of white America. Anticipating material comfort and political equality in their adopted nation, many emigrants instead encountered disease and suffering.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
Revolution and Emigration: Black America and Haiti, 1773-1830p. 15
Rejecting America: Emigrationism Resurgent and the Beginnings of Black Nationalism, 1843-1854p. 61
Contemplating Haiti: Black Emigrationism, 1854-1860p. 87
James Redpath and the Haitian Bureau of Emigrationp. 129
Transplanting Black America: Emigrationism in Practice, 1861-1863p. 177
Conclusionp. 217
Bibliographyp. 225
Indexp. 241
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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