The New Negro’s Brown Brother: Black American and Filipino Boxers and the “Rising Tide of Color”

Theresa Runstedtler

in Escape from New York

Published by University of Minnesota Press

Published in print September 2013 | ISBN: 9780816677382
Published online August 2015 | e-ISBN: 9781452947877 | DOI:
The New Negro’s Brown Brother: Black American and Filipino Boxers and the “Rising Tide of Color”

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This chapter explores how the sport of boxing forged connections between the New Negro renaissance and the development of Filipino consciousness from the Spanish-American War to the 1930s. More specifically, it considers the emergence of the boxing ring as an important cultural “contact zone” in which black Americans and Filipinos not only learned of each other’s plight but also built a sense of racial solidarity. It argues that the rise of the New Negro was just one part of a much wider political current that the white American political scientist Lothrop Stoddard once referred to as “the rising tide of color.” By viewing the New Negro within the context of global cultural flows, the chapter shows that the so-called Harlem Renaissance was not an isolated, local phenomenon, but must be viewed in relation to the undercurrents and eddies of Western imperial military and political power, commerce, and culture. The multiple routes of everyday exchange linking the New Negro and his Brown Brother helped give rise to their masculine politics of resistance in the years to come.

Keywords: boxing; New Negro; Spanish-American War; black Americans; Filipinos; Lothrop Stoddard; Harlem Renaissance; Brown Brother

Chapter.  9381 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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