Covering a period roughly bookended by two international forums, the 1884–1885 Berlin Conference and the 1911 Universal Races Congress, Emancipation without Equality chronicles how activists of African descent fought globally for equal treatment and access to rights associated with post-emancipated citizenship. While Euro-American leaders created a standard to guide the course of imperialism at the Berlin Conference, the proceedings of the Universal Races Congress demonstrated that Pan-Africanism had become a visible part of a growing, global, anti-imperialist protest.
"Emancipation without Equality is extremely well written and offers several important interventions in the literature on nineteenth-century abolitionism, Pan-Africanism, colonization, African American intellectual thought, and African American internationalism and transnationalism."—Stephen G. Hall, author of A Faithful Account of the Race: African American Historical Writing in Nineteenth-Century America
"As Smith demonstrates, global imperialism and the rise of a new scientific racism challenged Pan-Africanists to articulate a doctrine of liberation that affirmed black subjectivities without ceding legitimacy to Euro-American standards of civilization and preparedness. What emerged was a vibrant Pan-Africanism attuned to transnational, global, and local dimensions of anti-black racial oppression."—Jeannette Eileen Jones, author of In Search of Brightest Africa: Reimagining the Dark Continent in American Culture, 1884–1936
"Emancipation without Equality joins a growing body of work which challenges the attenuation of race critique to the boundaries of the nation-state. The book eloquently retrieves a crucial yet under-appreciated historical moment of race critique and provides remarkable clarity to the complex links between resurgent empire in the late 19th century and the audacious Pan-Africanism of the early 20th century."—Robbie Shilliam, author of Race and the Undeserving Poor: From Abolition to Brexit
"This slim, readable volume explores the construction and influence of black activist and intellectual networks in the post-emancipation US."—CHOICE
"Emancipation without Equality offers nonspecialists a clearly written overview of black American internationalism and Pan-African thinking decades before the Pan-African Congresses in the Post–World War I era . . . [It] is an impressive achievement that provides an original interpretation of Pan-African activism during the Progressive Era."—Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
"Thomas E. Smith’s Emancipation without Equality is a sturdy contribution to scholarship on the Pan-African movement . . . Smith makes a compelling case that the Pan-African movement successfully 'contributed to the normative meaning of human rights.'"—Journal of American History