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Cosmopolitanism in Georgia Douglas Johnson's anti-lynching literature.

In December 1874, the African Methodist Episcopal Church changed the design on the front page of its major publication, the Christian Recorder. The new banner featured an image of the continent of Africa, apparently emphasizing the American church members' sense of connection to Africa. While the caption "Ethiopia Shall Soon Stretch Out Her Hands to God" (1) possibly reflected the church's missionary ideals rather than a sense of Pan-African identity, it initiates a series of literary and journalistic moves that ushered the continent of Africa into the national imagination without invoking its status as "dark continent." (2) In an era when dominant cultural references to Africa would ingrain (in the minds of white Americans), fixed notions of savagery, heathens, and evil, several African American writers sought to disrupt the discourse of primitivism, civilization, and racial supremacy by embracing an imagined African past in various ways. (3)

The significance of the symbol at the center of the Christian Recorder banner more reflects black Americans' status as participants in the building of a modern republic than their accurate ideas about the geographical space that was Africa itself. In a letter to the Recorder's editor dated March 22, 1877, B. A. Imes argued that "the notion that a people just out of bondage, with all the results of its degradation clinging to them, should better their condition by migrating to its shore is preposterous." Like most middle-class African Americans, Imes demanded that America be transformed to accommodate blacks: "The genius of its own institutions our birthright and unrequited toil, entitle us to a home."

Nineteenth-century black intellectuals argued that Africa had much to offer the US, and perhaps too much to offer its African American citizens. In the work of prolific author and activist Frances Harper, for example, references to African ancestry most frequently fall under the category of "cursed blood," a phrase that does not overtly reject discourses of African cultural inferiority. Harper, like her activist sister of the next generation Ida B. Wells, subtly clarifies and inverts the meaning of "cursed blood," to illustrate that after white Americans cursed Africans with slavery, they cursed them further with racial terrorism in the form of lynching. Pauline Hopkins, novelist and editor of The Colored American Magazine, argues for cultural syncretism and recognition of African contributions to modern culture and civilization; neither she nor Harper advocated black nationalism in its "back-to-Africa" incarnation. Their white-looking black heroines, usually octoroons with one-eighth black and seven-eighths white "blood," symbolize an African cultural presence in the American body politic.

Saidiya Hartman has observed that the development of a racist social structure in the early 1900s revolves largely around the demarcation of the black body as alien and dangerous to the patriarchal order that would govern an increasingly imperialist and masculinist United States national identity. Hartman suggests that "the placement and proximity of blacks among, amidst, and within the greater body of Americans and in the perception of a discernible 'us' encroached upon by black intruders identified the 'Negro problem' with the question of the social, thereby involving matters of intimacy, association, and need" (165). The intimacy and need implied in the interracial relationship that spawned so-called octoroon children also signified an interdependence between US and African cultures.

Practitioners of the progressive philosophy, such as Jane Addams, envisioned a cosmopolitan civilization. Eric Kaufman enumerates four goals of progressive cosmopolitanism: (1) to oppose Anglo-conformist modes of assimilation, (2) to celebrate the cultural diversity of the United States, (3) to endorse inter-ethnic contact and hybridity, and simultaneously (4) to eschew the maintenance of diverse ethnic communities (1089). In Paupaulekejo, Georgia Douglas Johnson expands the progressive party agenda for ethnic relations. She revises its model of cosmopolitanism in this play about an Afro-British "half-caste" man romantically involved with a white woman. While Johnson's depictions of racial hybridity do not literally endorse intermarriage, they advocate a progressive agenda for race relations in the idea that engaging with and embracing the "Other" constitutes an "intellectual and aesthetic stance of openness" (Hannerz, qtd. in Kaufman 1091). In Johnson's work, miscegenation, defined by David Croly in 1864 as the "mingling of diverse races" leading to "legitimate unions between whites and blacks" proved synechdochic to interracial relations (65).

Johnson's Paupaulekejo takes up the question of whether black masculinity appeals to white women. The mother of the eponymous African hero is white and British; her citizenship becomes central to the main action of the play, which traces this biracial son's romantic relationship with Claire and the panic it causes for her father. Not compelled to control or subordinate Claire, his racial and gendered "other," Paupaulekejo is masculine and honorable without practicing domination. By giving Paupaulekejo a British mother and an African father, Johnson suggests that an African male forefather might catalyze a new era in inclusive politics. Paupaulekejo embodies an African masculinity that differentiates his character from earlier biracial heroines, and thus differentiates Johnson's project from her black female literary predecessors'. African masculinity in this play, moreover, contrasts sharply with Anglo-American masculinity and its history of incivility and racialized violence. While white men might constitute an ethnic group distasteful and retrograde to a progressive agenda, Johnson defends the practice of ethnic diversity when it encourages pluralism. Her play Paupaulekejo invokes the greatest fear held by Anglo-American males, that social contact between black and white Americans could lead to miscegenation, not as white male access to black women, but through white women's choice of African American partners.

Johnson imagines the cosmopolite of mixed race heritage as an ideal metaphor for pluralism and cultural syncretism, and she uses the trope of miscegenation more frequently still to critique racial violence and the impending disaster of a purified Anglo-American identity achieved through the lynching epidemic and racial terrorism. Miscegenation signifies racial equality as it denies separatist modes of identity formation or racial segregation. Johnson's plays reveal the impossible fantasy of purified Anglo-American identity and its tragic manifestation in Anglo-supremacist attempts at ethnic cleansing--that is, using lynching to eradicate the trace of African masculinity in the body politic. Just as her poetry addresses the dilemma of racial violence, it offers up the cosmopolite as savior, as solution to the violent supremacist project. Simultaneously individual and part of a collective consciousness, the cosmopolite vacillates between ethnic particularity, celebrations of black culture, and a universalism intent on promoting peace and egalitarianism. Recognizing Africa's humanism and its descendants' contributions to the United States, Johnson's glimpse of Africa in the figure of the cosmopolite suggests a multiple, transcendent, global worldview free from the constraints of singular, masculine, white supremacist models of identity formation. (4) Ephemeral glimpses of Johnson's ideal world contrast violently with her engagement in more realistic social issues when her cosmopolite succumbs to murder, lynching, or infanticide, obliterating the trace of Africa that holds great potential for US civilization.

Contested depictions of "Africa" as an imaginary space defined in contradistinction to modern "America" appear in black and white American cultural productions alike, thus suggesting that the construct of Africa developed in many ways completely independent of the continent or its inhabitants. As the origin of diasporic movement that resulted in the presence of black people in the US, the Caribbean, and Europe, Africa could be symbolized (by whites) as the epitome of a primitive space requiring imperial control (by blacks) as the ancient origin of civilization and humanity. (5) Johnson does not simply react to racist propaganda about the danger of African presence, especially African masculinity, as promoted by her contemporary Thomas Dixon (whose novel The Clansman was converted into the film The Birth of a Nation). Instead of merely recuperating Africa's symbolization within a milieu of racism and white supremacy, Johnson draws upon a longstanding tradition of integrative Anglo-African philosophy to recommend a model of national identity formation not founded on the subordination of one group by the other.

As evolution of the octoroon heroine in earlier black women's novels, Johnson's cosmopolites respond to changing dominant discourses of nation and citizenship. Both white racist anxiety about traces of Africa within a modern United States and black cultural celebrations of African heritage catapulted racial identity into the forefront of definitions of America as a modern nation. (6) The political project of valorizing Africa to affirm equal humanity and thus demand equal rights in law and government for African Americans played a large part in Johnson's anti-lynching plays. In the political imagination, community and nation were extensions of the individual persona. As a defining feature of individual persona, race became a political entity indispensable to any figuration of nationhood. The glimpse of Africa found within the citizenry of the United States was not always located among the freedmen or visualized in terms of ebon blackness, however; in literature, film, and music Africa's infiltration of the United States most readily emanated from characters who were racially mixed and would sometimes appear to have as little as "one drop" of African blood.

The issue of racial mixing, therefore, proved both more threatening and more exciting than "the blood of a pure African." Interracial desire threatened the birth of a modern nation because black and white Americans alike seem to have believed that the physical proximity enabled by integration would result in racial admixture. While white racists like Thomas Dixon figured virtuous Anglo-American daughters in great danger if left alone with the freedman, American playwright Eugene O'Neill authored a play about miscegenation in 1924 that resulted in death threats, prognostications of mass lynching, and boycotts by actresses, theater-goers, and city councils alike. (7)

In the early twentieth century, African American literary depictions of miscegenation abound, but most of these dramas and narratives are set in US cities and perhaps overseas in Paris or London. (8) Other than Martin Delany's Blake (1861) and Pauline Hopkins's Of One Blood (1903), there are not many African American literary depictions of Africa. In this essay, I extend the meanings of miscegenation and the trope of the "octoroon" to explore how Africa emerged as part of the cosmopolitan persona. I analyze published and manuscript texts by Georgia Douglas Johnson to consider how her literary depictions of biracial individuals, interracial romance, and a fused transatlantic geography encompassing the United States, Europe, and Africa represented an inclusive model of identity formation that could lead to a truly modern civilization.

I. Cosmopolites, Landscapes, Subjectivity

In her poem "Cosmopolite," Johnson expands and recuperates the classic trope of miscegenation (Tate 59); the poem exemplifies her ideal theory of subjectivity. (9) The cosmopolite, "a product of the interplay/Of traveled hearts" (4-5), embodies the migratory subject position of those who do not fit neatly into racial categories prescribed by United States society and politics. Omniscient and perceptive, from her "estate," Johnson's cosmopolite is at once homeless and at home in the world; she is "of alien blood" yet a "scion of fused strength" (13, 15).

While cosmopolite figures in Johnson's work transcend the boundaries of any (one) national affiliation or any (one) racial identity, proclaiming, "Nor this nor that/Contains me" (12-13), their fluidity is at once the source of dispossession and ultimate freedom. As the poem indicates, "earth's frail dilemma," the social system of categories that justifies white patriarchal domination and control, might only be subverted by the "scion of fused strength" that is the cosmopolite.

In the poem "The Octoroon," first published in Bronze: A Book of Verse (Tate 36), and reappearing 40 years later in the Atlanta Daily World (February 15, 1964), Johnson addresses the plight of a speaker much like her cosmopolite, one whose "blood" is one-eighth African. It appears, in this case, that racial identities are naturally neither fixed nor fluid. "The man-wrought iron bars of her captivity"--socially constructed racial categories--alienate the title figure from every community. The imagery of light and darkness in the first stanza seems to substitute for racial categories; a "drop of midnight" (1) resonates with the phrase "one drop rule" to indicate that a "drop" of African blood would exclude even a white-looking woman from Anglo-American society. (10) While there is certainly a "man-wrought" dimension to the legal identity of Johnson's mixed race figure, she compares the blood coursing through her veins to the natural forces of rivers and the sea.

First described as "life's pulsating/ stream" (1-2), then as "a mighty sea" (9), the identity of the figure takes a dramatic turn in the second stanza. Given the consistent dark/light contrast that governs the first stanza, the reader might assume that the stream is white society. Yet the "mighty sea" that characterizes the "stormy current of her blood" (9) is not so clearly marked. As a figure of resistance, what was a mere "drop of midnight" (my italics) in the first stanza intermingles with the "pulsating stream" and builds up to a mighty current that beats against the "man-wrought iron bars of her captivity" (10) in the second stanza. The "drop of midnight" that signifies black blood and the "pulsating stream" that might be read as dominant white society are nonetheless diminutive in comparison to the racially unmarked "stormy current" that has the force of a "mighty sea." The force that overwhelms both the "drop of midnight" and the "pulsating current" might be read as Johnson's vision of a universal humanity no longer controlled or imprisoned by laws, myths, and cultural constructs that define race and create difference. The origin of that current works in concert with the "one-drop rule," as becomes apparent with intertextual readings of such poems as "To Abraham Lincoln" and "Of One Blood"; African blood creates "life's pulsating/stream."

How, then, can a current be both African and universal? Monogenesis provides a tidy answer; theoretically, all humanity does originate in Africa. More specifically, though, the individual mixed race subject herself shifts between transcendent, detached consciousness and the "natural inclination toward consciousness of kind" that, Alain Locke argued, enabled the production of a distinct and particular African American culture (qtd. in Harris 224). (11) I stretch my reading of Johnson's poems to suggest that she imagined a more universal humanity with Africa as the geographical, geopolitical, and cultural center of a trans-Atlantic cosmopolitanism. Perhaps Johnson hoped to establish a relationship between "The Octoroon" and the next poem to appear in a folder of her manuscripts, titled "Of One Blood.'' (12) The proximity in the archive suggests that Johnson purposefully stored the two poems together, that they held for her some intertextual relevance one to another. In the undated, unpublished "Of One Blood," as in "The Octoroon," sanguine and aquatic imagery work together to suggest racial harmony and an African origin of humanity. The title's resonant biblical allusion, likewise, situates the poem in a longstanding tradition among African American writers demanding equality through biblical justification.

Practical legal resonance informs the poem's claims that "The blackest man is white although/You cannot see a ray/Peep through the splendor of his skin" (1-3). Miscegenation practiced during slavery and the tendency among African Americans for "light to marry dark" after Emancipation increase the likelihood that there are very few "pure" Africans among the US Black population. White racial purity, however, the poem declares equally mythical because "The whitest man is black also" (5). The reasoning for the blackness of "the whitest man" could easily be attributed to the phenomena of passing and miscegenation as well, but in the second stanza Johnson instead suggests that the African diaspora engendered monogenesis and invokes an edenic moment when "ancient blood warmed blacker men/in some far distant scene" (7). Like the speaker of Countee Cullen's poem "Heritage," who returns to Africa "With the dark blood dammed within/ Like great pulsing tides of wine" (26-27), Johnson places the pulse and current of humanity in Africa. The sea, in this case, symbolizes a universal humanity not striated or geographically segregated along "man-wrought" racial lines.

"The Octoroon" and "Of One Blood" contrast with the bulk of Johnson's better-known work. Her first full volume of poetry, The Heart of a Woman, reflects Claudia Tate's understanding of her work: "Johnson's poetic style was part of her strategy of 'compensatory conservatism' which veiled her criticism of racial and gender oppression behind the demeanor of 'the lady poet' " (xviii). (13) Her challenges to the race and gender landscape that surrounded her were by no means as militant as Claude McKay's "If We Must Die," nor did she transgress class and gender lines of propriety to the extent that Zora Neale Hurston did. Rather than actively exploring the complexities of self within a world of artificial racial definitions, expectations, and limitations, Johnson often stuck to a more marketable conventional style and content. I read against the grain of common critical reception, however, because Johnson's engagement with a cosmopolitan ideal specific to her position as an intellectual in the 1920s nuances much of her formally "conventional" work. (14)

Continually deploying imagery of nature in contrast to culture, Johnson ventures an existential question in her poem "Why?" that could easily mirror the frustration that a world of racial conventions caused her (Tate 80). Natural movement within the first six lines of the poem cycles, unwavering, but the "rushing" motion of humanity seems a series of willful yet vain actions. Asking "wherefore were we torn?" (1), the speaker lacks a sense of origin that unites humanity in a common purpose, as in the poem "Of One Blood." While "The world spins on triumphant" (5), the speaker questions the assumed victory by focusing on the great cosmic dilemma: "And mortal man seeks all in vain/The primal reason--why?" (7-8). In the final stanza, the theme of alienation that posed an initial threat to the subject of "The Octoroon" surfaces. "Man through all ages past and now/bows to the lone heart cry" (13-14). In Johnson's papers, "Why" exists clipped from the NAACP magazine Crisis; juxtaposed with other poems in the file, this poem implies a racial theme. Racial strife and division might be read as symptom of the outright futility of the modern condition, of the destruction of communities, and of a drastic separation from the natural world and its inherent order and harmony.

In the 1964 version of the poem, Johnson once again offers up the figure of "The Octoroon" to find "refuge, succor, peace, and rest...." Natural order becomes community support as "she seeks that humble fold/Whose every breath is kindliness, whose hearts are purest gold" (7-8). This leaves the reader wondering which modern community preserves the integrity of group values. It does not seem logical that the reader could identify them through an either/or categorical pairing like black and white. Another undated, unpublished short essay among Johnson's extant notes, "Ann Leigh--World-Woman," posits a solution to the modern condition of alienation and loneliness. This brief character sketch features a woman whose easy and caring demeanor remedies modern life: "Actually, Ann Leigh only needed five minutes with anyone to transform him into a world-spirit." (15) Johnson does not mention any racial division whatsoever in this piece; instead, she describes Ann Leigh's effect on a taxi driver who "at journey's end, reluctantly, did he see her depart, ofttimes forgetful of his fee, sometimes even indifferent, knowing that he had received more than a fare that trip for a curtain had been lifted to save his inner vision." The concept of world spirit, a taxi driver who gains inner vision through the lifting of a curtain, suggests in part that relinquishing personal prejudice and animosity toward difference--like the lifting of a veil--transforms the individual. The most gruff "man-hating-man succumbed," hurdling "age-old boundaries," realizing with "something like shocked satisfaction that you no more hate a man because he is unlike yourself," transforms into a world-spirit who can identify with the other and has the most profound sense of self.

After four more short paragraphs wherein the narrator celebrates Ann's power, compares her to Christ, and insists that the reader may not believe the truth about Ann, she finally proclaims, "Well, Ann Leigh is a cosmopolite--she is vari-blooded and into this fusion is that most potent drop which bleeds, controls, and claims all others, Ann Leigh all comprehending has the whole world in her hand--in her mind--in her heart she is a world-woman. We call her Negro?" (Box 162-3 Folder 4). The language in Johnson's brief description of Ann Leigh, particularly the phrase "world spirit," calls to mind Locke's figuration of the culture-citizen. Through varied labels for cosmopolitanism, emerging from the Hellenic base "world-citizen," Johnson's racially ambiguous subject embodies a political perspective at once individual and collective, "Negro" and transcendent.

Johnson's revelation that "that most potent drop" of African blood infuses this charismatic woman's spirit should surprise an anticipated white audience in the 1920s. The concept of world-woman or world spirit emanates from a humble origin--the roots of African American culture that value community and interpersonal relations as measures of success. Johnson's textually imagined world, furthermore, amalgamates European and African wisdom. The "potent drop" of blood, inherited from a people whom history transported across hemispheres, also conveys the wisdom to convert the most racist, man-hating-man. As a messenger of peace, Johnson's cosmopolite offers redemption to a violent, racially striated world. At the same time, this centers peace and justice in her ancestral home--Africa.

Johnson frequently refers to the metaphor of blood as a medium for intermingling various geographies worldwide. Her poem "Common Dust" uses the metaphor of dust in a religious sense ("ashes to ashes, dust to dust") and also as a means of combining various regions of the earth: "Here lies the dust of Africa;/Here are the sons of Rome;/Here lies one unlabelled/The World at large his home?" (9-12). Johnson references blood to signal a future where the formerly vast spatial divisions of the geography of the human race meld into one. The reference to Rome, an empire risen and fallen much like that of ancient Ethiopia, accompanies the "unlabelled one" that is probably the United States.

I read "the unlabelled one" as the US because Johnson was heavily invested in Republican politics and in America's future. Her poems "Cosmopolite" and "Fusion" both signal great potential in the new hybrid of racial identity that results from miscegenation in the United States. Beginning with the image of a gardener splicing hybrid roses, the speaker of "Fusion" exalts her mixed racial origins: "I trace within my warring blood/The tributary sources,/They potentially commingle/And sweep/With new-born forces?" (7-11). With religious fervor, Johnson's speakers anticipate the new-born world where races reunite in the space of individual bodies, and warring nations overcome geopolitical conflicts to unite in a global, multicultural syncretism. For example, the speaker of "The Man to Be" is almost messianic in importance. The mixed-race subjects of Johnson's poems struggle intensely as they prophesy the future of a human race reunited and intertwined through the forces of slavery and colonialism. The speaker of "The Man to Be" proclaims: "Life charges through my veins--mixed forces guide the reins.... These fierce contending bloods/Churn in the depths of me/Merged in a mighty sea.... Oh White men, Black and Red/Look through God's lens and see/This fused intensity" (2-3, 9-11, 13-15).

Not only cosmopolites of "African blood" have the potential to transform the modern world (ostensibly, the taxi driver in "Ann Leigh" is a white man). Johnson's "Appreciation," dedicated "To Abraham Lincoln," eulogizes the martyred president as if he is a god, proclaiming, "And all the blood of Afric hue/Beats in one mighty tide--for you?" (7-8). As the assassinated victim of what Johnson might view as racial hatred, Lincoln's attempt to preserve the unity of North and South provides the type of geopolitical cooperation required for humans to transcend racist and nationalist prejudice. Perhaps her ardent Republican loyalty induced her to ignore Lincoln's rejection of social equality: Johnson sought to reconstruct the North and South by imagining Lincoln's role as that of savior. Those of "Afric hue" keep faith that white leaders like Lincoln will join them and uphold true Republican ideals of community. North and South will then realize that, just as Anglo-Saxons were once enslaved and as colored empires have risen and fallen, justice will prevail and guide humanity by "the rhythmical conscience within" (13-14). Cultural contact with "world-spirits" like Ann produces a set of values that prioritize universal humanism over individual identity. One of the poems Johnson republished in her late-life Share My World, "Credo" proclaims her vision for world peace and racial unity "In impious jungle or sky-kneeling fane" (9).

For Johnson, an obvious subscriber to the monogenesis theory, essential geographical references work toward a concept of global unity. References to the beating blood of "Afric hue" and to the jungle, however, also cross into the dangerous terrain of demonized constructs of African masculinity, as depicted by many of Johnson's white contemporaries--an alleged threat to the moral fiber of an Anglo-masculine nation. In this respect, Johnson's African version of Romeo and Juliet, discussed below, proves most fascinating. The eponymous hero, Paupalekejo, an erotically splendid specimen of manhood, unwittingly parodies rugged imperial masculinity and speaks in an absurd, Tarzan-esque pattern that can only be meant to ridicule the male id. (16) Unlike the model of anglo-masculinity that uses domination and violence to subordinate women and various Others, nonetheless, Paupalekejo's "African" masculinity collaborates with the white female subject and resorts to violence only as an escape from a socially constructed world of racial difference and injustice. While we might see Paupaulekejo as a case study in cosmopolitanism, given the relation between the white woman traveler and the black male native, the play turns out to be cosmopolitanism's antithesis in the end.

II. African Masculinity Meets White Womanhood: Johnson's Paupaulekejo

Although Johnson's dramatic methods are frequently read as conservative, her themes comprise white women's desire for black men in her play Paupaulekejo. Inverting entirely Dixon's plot and setting, Johnson supplants a black male predator in America's heartland with a desiring Anglo-Saxon female within African colonial space. Set in Africa, the play explores a predictable love affair between the self-proclaimed "king" of the Tahaka tribe and Claire, the daughter of a missionary. Like Silas Lynch in The Clansman, the protagonist is "half caste." Johnson sets up the inevitable romance with Claire's first comment upon arriving in her father's village: "The natives have such splendid physiques" (403).

This outright naming of sexual desire, which echoes centuries of black and white American fascination with African bodies, is virtually unprecedented in texts by Johnson's contemporaries with the exception of female blues musicians like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith. (17) The provocative and pervasive sexual imagery in the short play politicizes heteronormative sexuality by drawing readerly attention to the intimate contact between African and Anglo-American cultures. The play also plots a love affair between a "chaste" Christian white woman and a "primitive" black African man whose perspectives on morality and ethics are shown to be more sophisticated than those of the missionaries who gaze upon and attempt to "civilize" him.

Unlike her father and another, cynical missionary, Claire has the capacity to reform her attitudes about race and otherness when she realizes that they emerge from a restrictive sense of self. She learns, almost immediately, that Paupaulekejo is the son of the chief and a woman who had come from England "without a man." Claire describes Paupalekejo as "a big handsome specimen of manhood" although she expresses surprise that his mother was English (404). The idea that an Englishwoman could love an African intrigues Claire; it challenges assumptions about allure, desire, propriety, and morality that her father and the church have instilled in her. Her immediate curiosity about Paupaulekejo, who "wasn't--well--black like the rest," barely veils her sexual attraction to him (404). Claire begins tutoring Paupaulekejo and trying to convert him to Christianity. She proposes this project to her father as part of an effort to "civilize" the natives, yet Claire's perception of black virtue is at first limited by her obsession with the black bodies she sees, especially Paupaulekejo's. She confesses to her father: "I--I--from what I've seen of them I think they make good Christians, provided they could be persuaded to adopt a more civilized dress. ... I do think they have splendid bodies, but the flesh is not everything" (405). Oblivious to his daughter's objectifying gaze, the missionary deflects the "problem" of sexual desire away from her and toward the Tahaka: "That's just it! The flesh is not everything and they must learn to overcome the desires of the flesh if they would be good Christians" (405). The black body, splendid and racially marked as it is to the white on-lookers, casts the Tahaka as essentially different from and mentally inferior to "good Christians."

Taking her father's exhortation that "they must learn" as an attainable challenge, Claire pursues Paupaulekejo--who speaks in very rudimentary English despite his maternal connection to the Empire--and makes him her pupil. He woos her using her own logic: that God's first commandment is to love everyone. Rushed, melodramatic dialogue evidences that the two have fallen in love with each other although Claire claims: "It cannot be--not here nor anywhere on God's green earth" (410). Her father discovers the tryst and immediately arranges to send Claire home. She sends for Paupaulekejo to say goodbye, and he decides that both of them should go together to her God since they cannot be together on earth. The play ends as he stabs her, then himself, in the heart.

On a superficial interpretive level, one could say that Claire's voyage to Africa reinforces the misogynist concept that women, through their capacity to be "mothers of a nation," also pose the threat of polluting or contaminating the body politic if their sexual choices are not governed by a white patriarchal caste system. Notably, Claire is a foreigner and distinguished guest in Africa where she decides to "go native." Johnson doesn't clarify whether Claire is an American or, like her lover's mother, a British subject. Nation-less as she might appear, Claire's identity transcends racial subordination and exclusionary politics. She is certainly disorderly: She cannot seem to overcome her aesthetic and sensuous attraction to the "natives." Johnson thus calls into question the belief that women are objects to be controlled within the ethical parameters of a rational male "moral self."

Unlike the female lead of Eugene O'Neill's All God's Chillun Got Wings, Claire's eventual demise is tragic; she is not a "she devil," nor is she the spectacular lascivious white woman who victimizes black men in Ida B. Wells's anti-lynching rhetoric. (18) O'Neill's play features Ella, a poor white woman who marries a middle-class black childhood friend. Ella, however, becomes a raving psychopath, who, apparently overwhelmed by the racist stereotyping by other whites, threatens to murder her black husband as she constantly hurls racist epithets at him. Conversely, Johnson's heroine resists and rejects the impetus toward racial violence that possesses Ella. Nonetheless, Claire fetishizes the black body as she projects her own preoccupation with flesh upon her lover, Paupaulekejo. His love for her, ironically, requires an escape from the earthly body in his hope for Christian eternal life with a woman whom he cannot have "anywhere on God's green earth" (410). His speech and cognitive simplicity seem to mark him as a primitive, yet his love for Claire ultimately directs him to what he perceives as a wholly spiritual realm and the destruction of the body. The play Paupaulekejo was probably written around the same time as the 11 lynching plays that Johnson catalogued in her works. Like most of the anti-lynching plays, it lacks a copyright date and remained unpublished until Claudia Tate composed The Selected Works of Georgia Douglas Johnson (1997). In all of Johnson's plays, black murderers act with desperate yet loving intentions. In Paupaulekejo, the metaphorical lynch mob of white patriarchy must take responsibility for the violent deaths. The tragically unrealized potential for Claire and Paupalekejo to cross racial boundaries invokes the specter of miscegenation that is so horrific in D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation, the cinematic version of Dixon's The Clansman. Tate cogently describes Paupaulekejo as "a miscegenation play set in Africa. Rather than relying on the often forced sexual pairing of white men and black women, which was the staple of [black] American miscegenation stories, Johnson reverses the racial and sexual identities of the couple and depicts a story of probable miscegenation by consent" (lx).

Johnson confronts racial terrorism with a romance comparable to Romeo and Juliet. She categorized Paupaulekejo as an anti-lynching play due to the radical dramatization of sexual desire that does not infringe on Claire's "physical and spiritual purity" but rather emanates from it. What is most interesting about Johnson's rendering of sexual desire is the conflation of "Africa" with libidinal excess that she uses to depict the hypocrisy of white subjects' objectifying African American characters and justifying their own fascination with the black body. The modern condition of geographic mobility that detaches Claire from white women's conventional domesticity or nationalism allows her to transcend ethnic and national identity, the very possibility of which horrifies her father. The fantasy of a cosmopolitan identity that belongs everywhere and can transcend its particular origins, however, proves equally dangerous. Claire's attempts to "convert" Paupaulekejo, to erase the cultural difference between them, results in his dangerously literal interpretation of "God's green earth." In Paupaulekejo's murders, rash attempts to obliterate both his Tahaka identity and her whiteness, Johnson signals the futility of Claire's pan-cosmopolitan denial of ethnic, national, and gender differences. Rather than meeting at a critical distance from, yet still rooted in, their individual identities, the lovers collide in an ephemeral yet fatal fantasy of transcendence. (20)

Of course, romance plays centrally in the vagaries of Claire's heart and ensuing crisis of identity. Her cosmopolitanism begins in what looks like sexual desire and develops through a romantic affair. While in Dixon's terms interracial interaction signifies the rape and destruction of white femininity, for Johnson, conversely, international and interracial encounters extend a "true woman" beyond oppressive constraints.

Domesticity, then, cannot provide sufficient space for a woman to cultivate her moral faculties--a point pervasive in Johnson's work. She makes the same argument in "The Heart of a Woman," perhaps her best-known poem, for example, in that it illustrates the double meaning of heteronormative romance in a (white) woman's attempt to emerge from a morally stifling home (Tate 1). In the first stanza, woman signifies potential and "goes forth with the dawn,/As a lone bird" (1-2); thus, she encompasses geographical space "In the wake of those echoes the heart calls home" (4). While a sense of home is ubiquitous, the restless soaring suggests that "home" limits the freedom of soaring afar. At the end of the day, she who may want to be a "world-spirit" sees her dreams destroyed as her heart "enters some alien cage .../While it breaks, breaks, breaks on the sheltering bars" (6, 8). While this is Johnson's most popular poem, its tragic movement makes it a rather odd love poem. Domestic bliss and shelter turn violent and prison-like because freedom is not absolute. Like Claire, who recognizes humanity beyond the limits set by her father, or like African Americans who deem their African heritage a vital part of American culture, the subject of Johnson's poem is alienated and excluded from the public world that she desires to transform. The privileges and sanctity of white patriarchal control, rather than sheltering women, break women's hearts and spirits. The metaphor of the heart powerfully symbolizes the desire for egalitarian freedom and the cultivation of a cosmopolitan moral and political horizon.

Just as Claire broached the bounds of white patriarchy's caste system to see/by seeing the humanity of her beloved, the attempts by her father and his fellow missionary Cynic to control and protect her racial purity, in the end, destroy her. Their "protection" kills her, and she dies as her heart "breaks, breaks, breaks on the sheltering bars." The woman, like her alienated and encaged heart, is restricted; the limits of her habitation (like those of the African in America) are fixed by the bounds of white male privilege. The prospect of a woman loving freely and outside the parameters of patriarchal control was no small threat. Witness Dixon's and Griffith's dreadful examples of the paranoid fear of miscegenation that served to reunite Northern and Southern whites in a common project of racial supremacy. To effect that project, white Americans began imagining African Americans as bestial examples of Africa's primitive savagery within the nation's borders. Mulatto citizens, in Dixon's analysis, oxymoronically rent the infiltration of the body politic with African blood and posed a greater threat to national unity than even did Americans of "pure" African descent.

III. Female, Half-Caste, American? Imaging Infanticide

In her ideal literary world, Johnson figures miscegenation as the metaphorical expression of a United States body politic free from racial violence. Her inclusive identity, which recognizes African masculinity, female desire, and racial coexistence, alleviates the destructive impulse to subordinate and eliminate that which is "other" in Anglo masculinity. Paupaulekejo, like the octoroon and cosmopolite personae of Johnson's poems, illustrates that the African within is integral rather than infectious. The remainder of Johnson's lynching plays contrast with the ideal of her cosmopolitan perspective, illustrating how the violent failure of such a perspective results in horrendous suffering. Nonetheless, critics rarely credit her work with the complexity it affords. James Morrow describes her lynching plays as "rather superficial and hurriedly done." (19) Similar critiques surround Johnson's poetry, although it does not display the "broken and bad English; helplessly calling upon the Lord when disaster overtakes us; referring to our inability to hold meetings on time and over-emphasizing spirituals" that Morrow finds particularly offensive in her plays (ibid.). Perhaps Johnson's depictions of the "folk" are not as undignified and misguided as Morrow would imply, however, her attention to spirituals coincided with her own work as a composer and while the utterances of her "folk" characters reflect despair in the face of tremendous oppression, the clear audience for their appeals is not "the Lord" but rather the legislature.

The intensity and panic of some of Johnson's plays, furthermore, lend them urgency. Negative assessments of her writing need careful reconsideration. Certainly, the pressures of working and raising two sons as a widow explain the "hurried" quality of some of Johnson's work. Her poetry, wont to be effusive and highly dramatic, its complex diction spoken in an intense linguistic register, proved most marketable perhaps because it is political. The genius of Johnson's work, nonetheless, is more intellectual than artistic. Her vision for identity formation translates into a theory of subjectivity that constructs agents of transformation who are equipped to enact a feminist, African-centered cosmopolitanism. Johnson's poem "Woman," for example, suggests the deferred promise of Claire's vision of love and equality; all women are capable of fashioning a moral self and identity that are "silent potently" as they wait as their "urge to live/Is summoned within their right to give,/To merge her own identity/Into another's entity!" (13-16)

While this passage in "Woman" implies women's procreative potential and syncretism between different identities achieved through birth, racial terrorism and violence constantly erupt to prevent the creation of such an ideal world. As with the deaths of Claire and Paupaulekejo, the reality that compels black women toward infanticide and race suicide must be overcome to achieve justice and equality. Since there is no rightful place for African Americans or recognition of African cultural contributions in the United States, infanticide emerges as a preventative measure to avoid future lynching of beloved black sons. While in poems Johnson frequently foregrounds the cosmopolite as a solution to Anglo masculinity's assault on black Americans, the lynching plays are a thoroughgoing indictment of Anglo masculinity.

The temporary hopelessness of families, especially mothers, in Johnson's plays conveys the dire conditions in which African Americans lived during the author's lifetime, from the failure of Reconstruction and the repeal of the Civil Rights Act to the Great Depression and the Harlem riots of her most prolific writing period. In Plumes, the only play Johnson published while alive, a poor mother named Charity witnesses the funeral procession of a neighbor's child as she awaits her own child's death. Her sense of defeat parallels that of the mother in Johnson's play Safe, in which the forlorn Liza Pettigrew strangles her newborn son. As Liza labors and gives birth, a lynch mob forms outside her home. Liza and her husband John have a neighbor, Sam, who is the lynching victim who slapped his white boss in retaliation. Sam can be heard offstage crying, "Don't hang me! Don't hang me! I don't want to die! Mother! Mother!" Liza's mother pulls her from the doorway, urging her, "Remember your own little baby--you got him to think about. You got to born him safe!" (382). Becoming hysterical, Liza repeats the word "safe" as she disappears into her bedroom. Her family waits nervously, hears the infant cry, and receives news from the doctor a few moments later. When finally the child was born, Liza asked the doctor immediately, "Is it a girl?" He narrates her reaction to motherhood as follows:
 And I said, "No child, it's a fine boy,"
 and then I turned my back a minute to
 wash my hands in the basin. When I
 looked around again she had her
 hands about the baby's throat choking
 it. I tried to stop her, but its little
 tongue was already hanging from its
 mouth. It was dead! Then she began,
 she kept muttering over and over
 again: "Now he's safe--safe from the
 lynchers! Safe!" (384)

The specter of lynching outside the house repeats itself in the offstage bedroom as the doctor describes "its little tongue hanging from its mouth" just as so many lynched victims suffocated while hanging, their tongues distended as they died. Johnson was very likely influenced by the dramatic success of her good friend, Angelina Weld Grimke, whose tragic play Rachel similarly explored the theme of black maternal infanticide as a means of providing filial safety. Grimke's play differs from Johnson's in that the protagonist Rachel swears that she will never have biological children after her adopted son's schoolmates call him "nigger." In the antecedent action of the play, Rachel's own father and brother, successful businessmen both, had been lynched by white men jealous of their economic prosperity. According to Akasha Hull, part of Grimke's mission in writing Rachel was to portray thriving middle class black life, to combat the stereotype of the "darkey." Hull also cites the black-authored playbill for Grimke's "literary propaganda," which read: "This is the first attempt to use the stage for race propaganda in order to enlighten the American people relative to the lamentable condition of ten million of colored citizens in this free Republic" (117). (21)

Lynching plays in particular express the obstructions to full citizenship that blacks and females must confront within the parameters set for them by an oppressive white patriarchy. Anti-lynching texts that foreground infanticide renounce motherhood in grim and pessimistic tones. They elucidate an aesthetic and ideological leap in early 20th-century African American literature from disillusionment with heteronormative romantic love to resistance via sacrificial infanticide, and thus parallel the diminished hopes of many black Republicans from Reconstruction through the Great Depression. (22)

Asked by Walter White to produce a dramatic work for the NAACP's anti-lynching campaign, Johnson's first draft of And still they paused ... was rejected. In a letter dated January 18, 1937, White explained that the Youth Council found "the plays all ended in defeat and gave one the feeling that the situation was hopeless despite all the courage which was used by the Negro characters." Her revision, titled "A Bill to Be Passed," ends with news of Congress's passing the anti-lynching bill and with the rallying, cry, "Then ON TO THE SENATE!!!" (23)

In both And still they paused ... and another of Johnson's anti-lynching plays, Sunday Morning in the South, lynching is committed off stage. The action in Congress during a filibuster (which in actuality postponed and eventually killed the anti-lynching bill) takes place off stage in both, and African American characters narrate both events. In the former is Rev. Jackson, the preacher who has called his congregation together to pray about the bill's passage. During the prayer service, lynch violence erupts, and Jackson telegrams a congressional representative to convey the news of the horrific lynching (performed with a blowtorch) that occurs outside the church at the same time that the congressional debate/filibuster occurs.

Miscarriages of justice and legislative failures in these rediscovered lynching plays provide insight to the problem of maternity in many of Johnson's poems. (The widowed mother of two successful sons, Johnson was not necessarily voicing a personal ambivalence about motherhood in her poetry when her poetic subjects despair, however.) The poem "Maternity," for example, asks "Proud?" and responds, "I cannot say with surety/That I am happy thus to be/Responsible for this life's embarking" (1-5). Similarly, the speaker of "Black Woman" warns her unborn child, "The world is cruel, cruel, child,/I cannot let you in!" (7-8) Accompanying this despair and foreboding, however, is an occasional maternal hope that white male dominion will pass. "Smothered Fires," for example, foresees a gynocentric age when "At last the weary war was done /the tapers were alight" from the flames of a fire that women had kept silent--potently--until men recognized and respected it (9-10).

One of Johnson's final publications was a libretta entitled The Dream for World Peace. Her dream, undoubtedly, was that racial boundaries could dissipate entirely. In a national cultural context, the dialogue her work constructs between racist representations of civilization and American identity, on the one hand, and strategic productions of African American identity, on the other hand, speaks to fraught race relations that still exist in the United States today. Although Johnson's worldview is highly idealistic, her work encompasses questions of national identity that are yet unresolved. Her vision of a "modern" America was one wherein cultural syncretism could overcome racial violence for the benefit of the nation. As I have demonstrated, miscegenation emerges as a major theme in Johnson's poetry, plays, and prose. As she wrote, diverse groups of Americans were equally intrigued, even obsessed, with the phenomenon of "one drop" of African blood and its alleged effects on an individual's sexuality, intellect, and social standing. As a central trope within the discourse of primitivism and civilization, miscegenation represents an intensely anxious response to interracial contact. Comparing Johnson's work with such ubiquitous mainstream productions of anti-miscegenation as D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation enables exploration of the presence of contending fantasies of "Africa" in the American popular imagination almost 100 years ago. Scholars and readers do well to continue this comparison as we observe media representations and other ideological productions of race relations in the twenty-first century.


(1.) African Emigration was a hotly contested topic in the pages of The Christian Recorder. Business manager Henry Turner, an advocate of re-colonization, consecrated the ship Azoras it departed from Charleston Harbor on April 8, 1878, to set sail for Liberia. Martin Delany also attended the event. See Gilbert Anthony Williams for a more complete account of the Emigration debate among African Methodist Episcopalians and Moses for a thorough treatment of "Anglo-African conservatism on the eve of the Civil War."

(2.) The scriptural verse gained contemporary currency thanks to one of the first American emigrants to Liberia, Daniel Coker, who recorded the same phrase in his journal in 1820. Of course, the American Colonization Society was bankrolled, in large part, by supporters of slavery and other white Americans interested in disposing of the free people of color in the United States. See also Bruce and McGraw.

(3.) William Wells Brown, in the introduction to "The Black Man and his Antecedents," points out that "It is the generally received opinion of the most eminent historians and ethnologists, that the Ethiopians were really negroes, although in them the physical characteristics of the race were exhibited in a less marked manner than in those dwelling on the coast of Guinea, from whence the stock of American slaves has been chiefly derived" (32). Great debate among ethnologists continued well into the twentieth century as to whether Egyptians, Ethiopians, or even the architects of ancient Zimbabwean ruins could have been "negroes." Brown, and later Pauline Hopkins, do claim the ancient sites as part of "negro" and "African" heritage, thus intrinsic in African-American identity.

(4.) Gail Bederman documents how, as exclusively white male participation in partisan politics stretched to address the rights of blacks, immigrants, and women, "middle-class ideals of manliness were eroding" (13). White male perceptions of attempts to usurp their manhood and exclusive purchase on power conflated, to a certain extent, feminist and minority interests. Endangering the social purity of the Anglo public sphere they had created, women threatened pollution of the public sphere of Anglo political power when they aligned their interests with Africans, American Indians, or even immigrants. The combination of race and gender differences combined to pose disaster for white male control over women, so black masculinity became a specter that threatened Anglo male control of (white) women in their own homes as well as in the public sphere.

(5.) In an essay published in The Journal of Negro History, for example, Carter G. Woodson reviews the history of miscegenation between blacks and whites beginning in ancient Egypt, moving North to Europe, and continuing through colonial Brazil and the Americas. In his introductory statements, he alludes to the debate over whether Egyptians can be considered black or African. "Although science has uprooted the theory, a number of writers are loath to give up the contention that the white race is superior to others.... But there are others who express doubt that the integrity of the dominant race has been maintained. Scholars have for centuries differed as to the composition of the mixed breed stock constituting the Mediterranean race and especially about that in Egypt and the Barbary States. In that part of the dark continent many inhabitants have certain characteristics which are more Caucasian than negroid and have achieved more than investigators have been willing to consider the civilization of the Negro. It is clear, however, that although the people of northern Africa cannot be classed as Negroes, being bounded on the south by the masses of African blacks, they have so generally mixed their blood with that of the blacks that in many parts they are no nearer to any white stock than the Negroes of the United States" (335).

(6.) According to Daniel McInerney, abolitionists formed numerous ideologically distinct camps. Their common ground, however, was to look upon a "splintered, fluid nation that had no clear sense of direction and no fixed republican meaning. They intended to take that aimless and divided entity and recover its cohesion and solidarity. As he described the fundamental task of abolition, Garrison wrote that he eagerly awaited the day when 'what is now fragmentary, shall in due time be crystallized.' He and other advocates hoped to reinstate a sense of purpose to a disoriented people, to bring order once again to a formless nation--literally, to re-form the world"(152). The connection between "freedom" as an ideologically universal human right and the perceived capacity for certain peoples to govern themselves played out in an imperialist context in much the same way that the slavery debate developed in the United States as a question of "negro slavery." Phenotypic characteristics defined as "race" became markers of one's capacity for self-government and for building a "civilized" society.

(7.) See Eugene O'Neill, All God's Chillun Got Wings. The NAACP Anti-Lynching file, which also contains typescripts of Johnson's two "lost" lynching plays, includes numerous negative reviews and protests against the O'Neill play from newspapers nationwide as well as a handwritten death threat to James Weldon Johnson, who endorsed the play. Paul Robeson played the male lead in the first productions of the play. According to the Rochester Herald (NY) of February 23, 1924, the initial white female lead, Helen McKellar, boycotted it when controversy erupted. According to the New York American, March 11, 1924, rumors that Mary Blair refused to play the part because she would have to kiss Robeson's hand resulted in a scramble to find a white "leading lady" and in speculation that the female lead should be played by a light-skinned mulatta instead.

(8.) I am thinking of James Weldon Johnson's Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, Nella Larsen's Quicksand and Passing, Jessie Fauset's Plum Bun.

(9.) Tare reproduces Johnson's four volumes of poetry in their entirety in Selected Works. I will cite each poem parenthetically, referencing year of publication and page numbers from the original work. The titles of the original texts are The Heart of a Woman and other Poems (1918), Bronze A Book of Verse (1922), An Autumn Love Cycle (1928) and Share My World (1962). Poems from the archive at Moorland-Spingarn referenced by folder.

(10.) Practically speaking, despite the unquantifiability of "African blood," Johnson lived through an era when laws were passed in nearby Virginia regulating intermarriage and limiting the definition of whiteness very narrowly. Leon Higginbotham cites a 1924 Virginia statute known as the "Act to Preserve Racial Integrity" (226).

(11.) Leonard Harris articulates Alain Locke's philosophy of cosmopolitanism, which permits universalism as well as ethnic particularity. While Locke argued that social groups were not static and that race was socially constructed, he also insisted on a biological tendency or instinct for humans to create communities based on similar values and experiences. Johnson, a resident of Washington, DC like Locke, seems to share his philosophy. See Harris 224.

(12.) Courtesy of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University. Box 162-6 Folder 14, poems (typescript drafts and a clipping).

(13.) Claudia Tate, xviii. She borrows the terms in quotation marks from Susan Lanser and Jeffrey Stewart, respectively.

(14.) Tate names Alain Locke as one reader who found Johnson conventional and conservative (xxi). Walter White and James Morrow, whom I discuss below, similarly criticized Johnson's style and lack of innovation. In the foreword to Bronze, W. E. B. Du Bois writes that "her word is simple, sometimes trite" (Johnson, 1922: 7).

(15.) The "Anne Leigh" piece is a single unnumbered, unpublished typescript page in Box 162-3, Folder 4 at Moorland-Spingarn.

(16.) Amy Kaplan reads popular chivalric romances of the late 1890s, the moment of incipient U.S. imperialism, as figurations of imperial masculinity "cultivated in the muscular robust physique" (662). Paupaulekejo marches around like a king and ignores orders and requests from the missionaries to learn their "civilized" ways. The short play, particularly Paupaulekejo's oversimplified dialogue of beating tom-toms and love for Claire, seems absurd in a manner that invites laughter. As epitome of corporeal masculinity, Paupaulekejo is humorous, as is Claire's fixation on his body. The ultimate tragedy of the play, however, comes from reductive definitions of masculinity and race, proffered from both missionaries and Africans, resulting in the final scene of equal opportunity suffering. The tableau of death and mourning, a doubled and inverted pieta of sorts, includes the African woman, the "black" man, an Anglo woman, and her father, all kneeling or prone.

(17.) The national anxiety over contact, especially via sexual relations, between white women and black men is well documented. In her study of female blues musicians, however, Angela Davis considers the lack of references to sexual assault in Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith's work. Davis's summary of the politics of sexuality during the Harlem Renaissance and afterward is helpful here. See Davis 33-34. Davis also cites Paula Giddings's "historical account for the origins of the myth of the black rapist as a political weapon" (Giddings 27, qtd. in Davis 368) and Alfreda M. Duster.

(18.) See Bederman 66. Wells documents some examples in Chapter VI of A Red Record (117-25).

(19.) Rather than a universalizing dream of sameness, Johnson's cosmopolitanism best falls into Amanda Anderson's working definition: "cultivated detachment from restrictive forms of identity" (266).

(20.) Memorandum to Miss Jackson, dated January 25, 1938. NAACP anti-lynching file. Library of Congress Box 299-C. Her close friend and reviewer Alice Dunbar Nelson alludes to certain other writers who are not truly modern because they rely on "race superstition," "primitive passion," "back to Africa," "call of the blood," "Racial consciousness," "urge for service," "natural inferiority," and "primitive fear" in their depiction of black subjects (Hull, 1988: 247).

(21.) The playbill was apparently produced by the DC branch of the NAACP.

(22.) In Johnson's play Blue Blood, a light-skinned black woman learns on her wedding day that her "high yellow" fiance is also her brother. The young woman flees the wedding, escaping through the kitchen to marry the much darker Randolph Strong. Emphasizing middle class blacks' admonition for "light to marry light," the plot of Blue Blood circulates around the bride and bridegroom's mothers who realize that the same "blue-blooded" southern gentleman, a rapist in fact, fathered both the bride and the groom.

(23.) Johnson's correspondence with Walter White as well as the typescripts of And they still paused ... (revised as "A Bill to be Passed") and Sunday Morning in the South appear in the NAACP Anti-lynching files, Box 299-C, Library of Congress.

Works Cited

Anderson, Amanda. "Cosmopolitanism, Universalism, and the Divided Legacies of Modernity." Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling Beyond the Nation. Ed. Pheng Cheah and Bruce Robbins. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1998: 265-89.

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Duster Alfreda M., ed. Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells. Chicago and London: U of Chicago P, 1970.

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Harris, Leonard. "Alain Locke and Community." The Journal of Ethics 1 (1997): 239-47.

Hartman, Saidiya V. Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America. New York: Oxford UP, 1997.

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Hull, Gloria T. Color, Sex, and Poetry: Three Women Writers of the Harlem Renaissance. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1987.

--. The Works of Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Volume 2. New York: Oxford UP, 1988.

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Johnson, Georgia Douglas. And yet they paused ... Box 299-C. NAACP Anti-Lynching Files. Manuscript Reading Room, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

--. "Ann Leigh, World Woman." Box 162-3, Folder 4, ts. Georgia Douglas Johnson Papers. Moorland-Springarn Research Center, Howard University, Washington, DC.

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Kaplan, Amy. "Romancing the Empire: The Embodiment of American Masculinity in the Popular Historical Novel of the 1890s." American Literary History 2 (1990): 659-90.

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Wells, Ida B. Southern Horrors and Other Writings: The Anti-Lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells, 1892-1900. Ed. Jacqueline Jones Royster. New York: Bedford, 1997.

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Williams, Gilbert Anthony. The Christian Recorder, A. M. E. Church, 1854-1902. London: McFarland, 1996.

Wonham Henry B., ed. Criticism and the Color Line. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1996.

Woodson, Carter. "The Beginnings of the Miscegenation of the Whites and Blacks." The Journal of Negro History. 3 (1918): 335-53.

C. C. O'Brien completed this essay while a Mellon postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University. The essay is excerpted from a book project about cosmopolitanism and anti-imperialism in the early 20th-century United States. She has taught Africana Studies and literature at various universities and was a Fulbright research fellow in Botswana. She would like to thank Simon Gikandi, Arlene Keizer, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, and Patsy Yaeger for their constant encouragement and intellectual mentorship.
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Date:Dec 22, 2004
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