Encounters of Color: How China and the African World Meet

Encounters of Color: How China and the African World Meet

A Workshop with Robeson Taj Frazier Sponsored by the department of African and African-American Studies and the East Asian Studies program

Professor Frazier, associate professor of communication in the School of Communication at USC, will discuss his 2014 book, The East Is Black: Cold War China in the Black Radical Imagination.

Frazier is a cultural historian who explores the arts, political and expressive cultures of the people of the African Diaspora in the United States and elsewhere.  His research examines histories and current-day dynamics of race and gender, cultural traffic and contact, urban culture and life, and popular culture.  

About his book:

During the Cold War, several prominent African American radical activist-intellectuals—including W.E.B. and Shirley Graham Du Bois, journalist William Worthy, Marxist feminist Vicki Garvin, and freedom fighters Mabel and Robert Williams—traveled and lived in China. There, they used a variety of media to express their solidarity with Chinese communism and to redefine the relationship between Asian struggles against imperialism and black American movements against social, racial, and economic injustice. In The East Is Black, Taj Frazier examines the ways in which these figures and the Chinese government embraced the idea of shared struggle against U.S. policies at home and abroad. He analyzes their diverse cultural output (newsletters, print journalism, radio broadcasts, political cartoons, lectures, and documentaries) to document how they imagined communist China’s role within a broader vision of a worldwide anticapitalist coalition against racism and imperialism.

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