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Frederick Douglass and the Atlantic World$
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Fionnghuala Sweeney

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781846310782

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846313141

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Race, Civilization, Empire

Race, Civilization, Empire

(p.138) Chapter 6 Race, Civilization, Empire
Frederick Douglass and the Atlantic World
Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores the later writing of Frederick Douglass and the extent to which it can be considered an indicator of a late alignment with the United States as empire. Even as Douglass took internal ethno-racial hierarchies, he was entailed in the prolongation of equally destructive, extra-national tropes in the US and African American imaginary. His trip to Egypt highlighted his determination to tackle a significant political facet of the cultural tourism of the late nineteenth century. Douglass's discourse on Egypt showed the vying trends in the anti-racialist rhetoric of Afro-America, and the extent to which it too is implicated in the discourse and practice of empire. Moreover, his late image as American Renaissance man caught the strengths and shortcomings of the national cultural imaginary.

Keywords:   empire, Frederick Douglass, United States, Egypt, cultural tourism, Afro-America, American Renaissance, national cultural imaginary

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