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date: 19 October 2020

The 1860 Japanese Embassy to the United Stateslocked

  • Natalia Doan

Extract

The 1860 Japanese embassy to the United States played a significant role in nineteenth century African American intellectual history The embassy inspired within the African American press a sense of perceived transnational solidarity based on the experience of racial prejudice From the moment the Japanese embassy arrived many Americans swarmed to the hotels that the Japanese visited hoping for glimpses of and encounters with the distinguished strangers The Japanese Embassy at New York At the same time Americans across the country struggled with the question of where to situate the Japanese on America s endemic racial hierarchy that discriminated against and exploited non white people The presence of the Japanese as powerful and sophisticated diplomats in America forced a questioning and rupturing of American hierarchies of civilization that linked masculinity race and power African American and abolitionist journals and editors welcomed and celebrated the Japanese as negroes from Japan ...

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