History Revealed: Transpacific Antiracism
February 6 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Ramsey County Historical Society Presents
Yuichiro Onishi, Transpacific Antiracism, Afro-Asian Solidarity in 20th-Century Black America, Japan, and Okinawa
History Revealed Series
Thursday, February 6, 2020
East Side Freedom Library
Free and open to all. No reservations needed.
Join RCHS for History Revealed, our program series featuring presentations and tours from the best of local historians, authors and archaeologists, with a wide range of topics drawn from the heritage and traditions of Ramsey County.
Transpacific Antiracism introduces the dynamic process out of which social movements in Black America, Japan, and Okinawa formed Afro-Asian solidarities against the practice of white supremacy in the twentieth century. Yuichiro Onishi argues that in the context of forging Afro-Asian solidarities, race emerged as a political category of struggle with a distinct moral quality and vitality.
This book explores the work of Black intellectual-activists of the first half of the twentieth century, including Hubert Harrison and W. E. B. Du Bois, that took a pro-Japan stance to articulate the connection between local and global dimensions of antiracism. Turning to two places rarely seen as a part of the Black experience, Japan and Okinawa, the book also presents the accounts of a group of Japanese scholars shaping the Black studies movement in post-surrender Japan and multiracial coalition-building in U.S.-occupied Okinawa during the height of the Vietnam War which brought together local activists, peace activists, and antiracist and antiwar GIs. Together these cases of Afro-Asian solidarity make known political discourses and projects that reworked the concept of race to become a wellspring of aspiration for a new society.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing during the presentation.
Yuichiro Onishi is Assistant Professor of African American & African Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.