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A Dream of the FutureRace, Empire, and Modernity at the Atlanta and Nashville World's Fairs$
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Nathan Cardon

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190274726

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190274726.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2021

Exhibiting a New South Empire

Exhibiting a New South Empire

(p.87) 4 Exhibiting a New South Empire
A Dream of the Future

Nathan Cardon

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 argues that the Jim Crow modernity at the fairs foreshadowed a Jim Crow empire after 1898. The Cotton States and International Exposition and Tennessee Centennial Exposition presented arguments for a distinctly southern imperial expansion. The Negro Buildings coupled with African American participation provided a blueprint for the incorporation of nonwhite colonial natives into the United States. By solving the supposed problems of a multiracial society by including the labor of African Americans while denying them the rights of citizenship, the South presented a framework for empire. At the same time, the exhibits and conferences held at the Negro Buildings often embraced the civilizing language of imperialism. Rhetoric about “primitive” and “heathen” Africans and the need for technical schools in Africa placed the southern African American professional and clerical staff within and alongside American expansionism.

Keywords:   US empire, Africa, Chinese Village, Expositions, anthropology, civilization, progress, modernity, Negro Building, New South

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