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To Turn the Whole World OverBlack Women and Internationalism$
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Keisha N. Blain and Tiffany M. Gill

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042317

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042317.001.0001

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Afterword Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea

Afterword Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea

(p.257) Afterword Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea
To Turn the Whole World Over

Michael O. West

University of Illinois Press

It is a truism that black folk in the United States are an international people. From the beginning of the republic, they were compelled by force of domestic (national) circumstances to internationalize their struggle for liberation, the founders having excluded them from the US social contract. The initial affidavit of exclusion is right there in the inaugural document of the social contract, the Declaration of Independence, which, ever so cryptically, damned the king of England for having “excited domestic insurrections amongst us.” This was an attack on the self-emancipatory activities of the enslaved descendants of Africa, who were exploiting the chaos caused by the anticolonial rebellion to claim their freedom, sometimes in cahoots with the British colonialists. Unable or unwilling to confront their own contradictions, the authors of the Declaration of Independence condemned the self-determination of the slaves as the doing of outside agitators, a charge that would be hurled at African American movements and activists for generations to come—up to the present time, in fact....

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