Essays on Race and Empire
  • Publication Date: August 12, 2002
  • ISBN: 9781551112305 / 1551112302
  • 305 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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Essays on Race and Empire

  • Publication Date: August 12, 2002
  • ISBN: 9781551112305 / 1551112302
  • 305 pages; 5½" x 8½"

This edition assembles the major essays on race and imperialism written by Nancy Cunard in the 1930s and 1940s. As a British expatriate living in France, and as a politically-engaged poet, editor, publisher, and journalist, Nancy Cunard devoted much of her energy to the cause of racial justice.

This Broadview edition contextualizes Cunard’s writings on race in terms of the relations among modernism, gender, and empire. It includes a range of contemporaneous documents that place her essays in dialogue with other European writers and with the work of writers of the African diaspora.


“This is a timely and much-needed edition.” — Jane Marcus, CUNY Graduate Center and the City College of New York

“Assembling Cunard’s key political writings on race and imperialism, and graced with a well-informed critical introduction, this beautifully conceived anthology also facilitates discussion of the complex intersections of gender with other issues and forms of identification in modernism. The appendices set Cunard’s texts into their original relation with contemporary modernist debates. An invaluable resource.” — Bonnie Kime Scott, San Diego State University

“This wonderful selection of Cunard’s work gives us new insight into the race politics of the twentieth century and the modernist project. Moynagh’s excellent introduction situates Cunard’s writings and identifications in fascinating and illuminating ways. This is a terrific collection.” — Laura Marcus, University of Sussex

“Moynagh’s insightful, inclusive, yet theoretically specific introduction to this collection of Cunard’s essays, complemented by a cogent selection of appendices, provide the relevant cultural and historical grounds to understand Cunard and the implications her work holds for current scholarship. Reading Cunard’s essays through Moynagh’s carefully crafted context makes possible further revisionist readings of modernism by situating Nancy Cunard and her writing on race and empire in a way that advances understanding of the interdependent relationship between radical politics, gender, race and modernism.” — Holly McSpadden, Missouri Southern State University, in English Studies in Canada

Nancy Cunard: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text
A Note on the Appendices

Essays on Race and Empire

Imperial Eyes

  1. “Harlem Reviewed”
  2. “Jamaica—the Negro Island”
  3. The White Man’s Duty: An Analysis of the Colonial Question in
    Light of the Atlantic Charter

Miscegenation Blues

  1. Black Man and White Ladyship: An Anniversary
  2. “The American Moron and the American of Sense—Letters on the Negro”

The Red and the Black

  1. “Scottsboro—and Other Scottsboros”
  2. “A Reactionary Negro Organisation: A Short Review of Dr.
    DuBois, The Crisis, and the NAACP in 1932”

Appendix A: Imperial Eyes

  1. Mary Gaunt, from Alone in West Africa (1912)
  2. Margery Perham, from West African Passage (1931-1932)
  3. C.L.R. James, from The Case for West Indian Self-Government (1932)

Appendix B: Miscegenation Blues

  1. Albert Edward Wiggam, from “Woman’s Place In Race Improvement,” The Fruit of the Family Tree (1924)
  2. W.E.B. DuBois, “The Marrying of Black Folk” (1910)
  3. Ida B. Wells-Barnett, from Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All its Phases (1892)

Appendix C: The Red and the Black

  1. W.E.B. DuBois, “The Class Struggle” (1921)
  2. Richard Wright, from American Hunger ([1944] 1977)

Appendix D: Claude McKay, from A Long Way from Home: An Autobiography (1937)

Select Bibliography

Maureen Moynagh is an Associate Professor of English at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish.