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Black internationalism emphasized the role of race or color in world politics and linked the domestic struggle of African Americans with the freedom struggle of emerging nations "of color," such as India and much of Africa. In the early twentieth century, black internationalists, including W. E. B. Du Bois and Marcus Garvey, embraced Japan as a potential champion of the darker races, despite Japan's imperialism in China. After Pearl Harbor, black internationalists reversed their position and identified Nationalist China as an ally in the war against racism.
In the end, black internationalism was unsuccessful as an interpretation of international affairs. The failed quest for alliances with Japan and China, Gallicchio argues, foreshadowed the difficulty black Americans would encounter in seeking redress for American racism in the international arena.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: African Americans Relations with Japanese, African Americans Relations with Chinese, African Americans Politics and government 20th century, Racism Political aspects United States History 20th century, United States Relations Japan, Japan Relations United States, United States Relations China, China Relations United States, United States Foreign relations Citizen participation