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Africa in EuropeStudies in Transnational Practice in the Long Twentieth Century$
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Eve Rosenhaft and Robbie Aitken

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318474

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846318474.001.0001

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‘Like Another Planet to the Darker Americans’: Black Cultural Work in 1930s Moscow

‘Like Another Planet to the Darker Americans’: Black Cultural Work in 1930s Moscow

(p.120) Chapter 7 ‘Like Another Planet to the Darker Americans’: Black Cultural Work in 1930s Moscow
Africa in Europe

S. Ani Mukherji

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses three black cultural workers who spent time in Moscow during the 1930s: The journalist Homer Smith worked as the Moscow correspondent for black newspapers, disseminating a global vision of blackness and the location of Moscow in this black world. Afro-Chinese Trinidadian Sylvia Chen forged a new type of anticolonial dance that fused elements of Chinese folk dance, modern choreography, and popular jazz steps. Wayland Rudd made a career as an actor. The focus on artists who made Moscow their home for extended periods calls attention to the everyday activism of imagining and inhabiting the city that sustained it as a site of black internationalism, though the chapter also outlines the challenges they faced as foreigners and as Blacks.

Keywords:   Soviet Union, dance, actor, anticolonial, black internationalism, Wayland Rudd, Sylvia Chen, Homer Smith

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