“End the Autocracy of Color,” Keisha N. Blain

Keisha Picture
Assistant Professor Keisha N. Blain, Department of History, University of Iowa

In her ongoing exploration of black internationalism, Professor Keisha N. Blain profiles African American journalist John Q. Adams for the University of Exeter’s Centre for Imperial & Global History blog:


In no uncertain terms, Adams called for an end to the “autocracy of color,” demanding the rights and recognition of people of color in the United States and other parts of the globe. “Through the centuries,” Adams argued, “the colored races of the globe have been subjected to the most unjust and inhuman[e] treatment by the so-called white peoples.” Echoing the rhetoric of self-determination, a central principle in mainstream political discourse of the period, Adams called on President Wilson to uphold global justice and democracy—especially in relation to people of color.

She goes on to point to Adams as one of many internationalists who “agitated for the rights of all people of color, wherever they resided.” Learn more about Professor Blain on her website and follow her on Twitter. And check out her library guide for Race and Politics in Twentieth Century America.

Blain, Keisha N. “‘End the Autocracy of Color”: African Americans and Global Visions of Freedom.” Imperial & Global Forum 2016. Web. 15 February 2016.