African-Americans and the Italo–Ethiopian Crisis, 1935–1936: The Practical Dimension of Pan-Africanism
Keywords:Pan-Africanism, Imperial Ethiopia, Afro-Americans, Colonialism, History, Politics, Italo-Ethiopian Crisis, Mussolini
In a world where the Negro groped for recognition, Ethiopia (Abyssinia), with its ancient institutions and sovereignty virtually intact, was a symbol of racial pride and achievement. This Ethiopia was however invaded by Italy in 1935. It was a racial interpretation that the Negro world gave the Italian invasion. African-American interest in Africa which hitherto had been romantic and sentimental, with the Italian invasion became practical, and in this case designed to strengthen Ethiopian resistance. In the end, African-American contribution, though symbolically significant, was paltry. This can be accounted for by the relative poverty of African-Americans, and the time and cultural distance separating them from Africa.
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