Selected as One of the Village Voice’s Favorite 25 Books of 2001
In this landmark work, historian Vijay Prashad refuses to engage the typical racial discussion that matches people of color against each other while institutionalizing the primacy of the white majority. Instead he examines more than five centuries of remarkable historical evidence of cultural and political interaction between Blacks and Asians around the world, in which they have exchanged cultural and religious symbols, appropriated personas and lifestyles, and worked together to achieve political change.
“In this brilliant exploration of the often surprising historical solidarities linking black and South Asian experiences, Prashad demolishes the conservative conceits of ethnic essentialism and so-called multiculturalism. In the usual dead zone of debate about identity politics, this little book is a refreshing oasis of original insight and unexpected affinity.” -Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz and Magical Urbanism
“Finally! A book that just might bring an end to all the silly talk of ‘identity politics.’ Vijay Prashad’s powerful, original essays reveal that neither brown skins nor cultural commonalities explain the long and dynamic history of Afro-Asian solidarity. Rather, the answer lay in dreams of emancipation, dreams borne of Empire but nourished in the imaginations of so-called colored people who had to learn to trust each other in the trenches. This is one complicated and uncompleted journey we all need to know about.” -Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination