5:30 - 6:30 pm
The Progressive Era is often depicted as a time of white middle class moral and social reform, and calls for transforming an ever-decaying U.S. society. This period was also marked by U.S. colonial expansion abroad, and, often forgotten, at home. African Americans and Native Americans were also proponents of moral and social change. However, they sought an end to U.S. colonialism at home. This paper explores the effects of colonialism on African Americans and Native Americans, and, more importantly, how they responded. Charles A. Eastman and W.E.B. Du Bois-being both representatives of their races and transnational progressives-responded by participating in the Universal Races Congress in London, England, in July 1911. By utilizing a transnational framework, this paper argues that Du Bois and Eastman responded in parallel fashion by exposing U.S. colonialism’s effect on American Indians and Black Americans, abroad, hoping to assert the humanity of Blacks and Natives on a global stage.
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