Editor: NYU Press
File Format: Pdf
Transpacific Antiracism by , Summary
“In this exhaustively-researched and beautifully-written book, Onishi uncovers a hidden history of Afro-Asian radicalism and internationalism. He presents bold and generative arguments about the ways in which the affiliation of kindred spirits across the Pacific enabled anti-racist intellectuals and activists from Japan and the U.S. to forge a new philosophy of world history and formulate practical programs for liberation.” —George Lipsitz, author of How Racism Takes Place “This fascinating and ground-breaking book offers a new window into the vital history of Afro-Asian solidarity against empire and white supremacy. Meticulously researched, it recovers the epistemological breakthroughs that emerged at the intersection of radical struggle and geographical reorientation. Through his sharp analysis of cross-cultural and transnational collectivity, Onishi provides a guidepost for all those interested in the study of utopian, boundary-crossing projects of the past, as well as the creation of future ones.” — Scott Kurashige, author of The Shifting Grounds of Race and co-author of The Next American Revolution 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. Yuichiro Onishi is Assistant Professor of African American & African Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.