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