“A Black Sister to Massachusetts”

Juliet Hooker

in Theorizing Race in the Americas

Published in print June 2017 | ISBN: 9780190633691
Published online April 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190633714 | DOI:
“A Black Sister to Massachusetts”

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This chapter explores the hemispheric dimensions of Frederick Douglass’s political thought. It traces the connections between Douglass’s interventions into debates about US expansionism in the Caribbean and his arguments about immigration and multiracial democracy in the United States. The chapter shows that Douglass found exemplars of black self-government and multiracial democracy in the Caribbean and Central America. He also sought to incorporate black and mixed-race Latin Americans into the US polity in order to reshape its contours and challenge white supremacy. Viewed though a hemispheric lens, Douglass’s ideas can be utilized to sketch a notion of fugitive democracy informed by black fugitivity that can inform contemporary democratic theory.

Keywords: Frederick Douglass; democratic theory; multiracial democracy; Latin America; slavery; black fugitivity; Haiti; American School of Ethnology; US expansionism; immigration

Chapter.  17251 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics ; Political Theory

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