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Theorizing Race in the AmericasDouglass, Sarmiento, Du Bois, and Vasconcelos$
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Juliet Hooker

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190633691

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190633691.001.0001

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“A Black Sister to Massachusetts”

“A Black Sister to Massachusetts”

Latin America and the Fugitive Democratic Ethos of Frederick Douglass

(p.25) 1 “A Black Sister to Massachusetts”
Theorizing Race in the Americas

Juliet Hooker

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the hemispheric dimensions of Frederick Douglass’s political thought. It traces the connections between Douglass’s interventions into debates about US expansionism in the Caribbean and his arguments about immigration and multiracial democracy in the United States. The chapter shows that Douglass found exemplars of black self-government and multiracial democracy in the Caribbean and Central America. He also sought to incorporate black and mixed-race Latin Americans into the US polity in order to reshape its contours and challenge white supremacy. Viewed though a hemispheric lens, Douglass’s ideas can be utilized to sketch a notion of fugitive democracy informed by black fugitivity that can inform contemporary democratic theory.

Keywords:   Frederick Douglass, democratic theory, multiracial democracy, Latin America, slavery, black fugitivity, Haiti, American School of Ethnology, US expansionism, immigration

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