In Search of Brightest Africa: Reimagining the Dark Continent in American Culture, 1884-1936


Product Details

University of Georgia Press
Publish Date
November 01, 2011
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.71 inches | 1.02 pounds

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About the Author

JEANETTE EILEEN JONES is an associate professor of history and ethnic studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.


Written in a lively and convincing style, In Search of Brightest Africa offers significant new insights derived from a close reading of primary materials. It will unquestionably be a major contribution to the study of African identity in America.

--Graham Hodges "author of Root and Branch: African Americans in New York and East Jersey, 1613-1863 "

With elegant prose, analytic precision, and archival depth, In Search of Brightest Africa forcefully pushes us beyond the enduring image of the Dark Continent. Jones persuasively demonstrates how little-known images and ideas about a 'Brightest Africa' were central to the American imagination as the country was making itself over as modern. The stories here of naturalists and environmentalists, Pan-Africanists and anti-imperialists, also tell us why Africa stays on our mind not just as a record of imperial pasts but also as a haunting yet hopeful recognition of possible global futures.

--Davarian L. Baldwin "author of Chicago's New Negroes "

This study is a novel discussion of representations of Africa in the early twentieth century, and, if the thesis defended may seem surprising at first sight, the book convincingly makes its point and is a very good work of cultural history.

--American Historical Review

[T]here is much to commend in Jones's book. . . .[She] has accomplished an important project for the intellectual history of African Americans.

--Lamin Sanneh "Journal of American History "