Lentekhis Travel on Du Bois’s lifelong interest in yellow Asia, culminating in his visit to communist China in 1959, is particularly important from the point of view of contemporary discussions of continental drift and critical regionalism (Du Bois 2005). His contribution to the African American encounter with Japan and China (Gallicchio 2000) and to the rise of a specific form of internationalist Afro-Orientalism in the 1920s has been obscured by his infamous endorsement of the Japanese occupation of China. There is no way to rescue Du Bois from his blindness in front of the violence and ferocity of Japanese imperialism. Nevertheless, as Naold Sakai explains in an interview with Richard Calichman and John Namjun Kim, Du Bois’s interest in Japan was fostered by the search for a different land of universalism, one liberated from the burden of racism. Sakai notes how U.S. intellectuals engaged in ideological warfare during World War II were particularly concerned about the possibility that because of American racial problems, Japan might come to occupy the position of universalism against America, though it was supposed to occupy the position of particularism. Lentekhis Travel 2016.
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