Black Women, Internationalism, and the Chicago Defender during the “Golden Age of Tourism"

Friday, January 4, 2019: 1:50 PM
Crystal Room (Palmer House Hilton)
Kim Gallon, Purdue University
Kim Gallon’s essay demonstrates the ways that black newspapers, in this case the Chicago Defender, one of the most storied of black periodicals, chronicled the journeys of a group of women that included reporters as well as the winners of the newspaper’s travel contests. Based on popularity, these contests, Gallon argues, helped to advance African American economic development in Haiti and certainly provided a means for women in particular to travel to Haiti during the “golden age of tourism.” Yet, the black women who traveled to Haiti often overlooked many of the social and political challenges facing Haitians during this period. An examination of their writings reveals their lack of knowledge of Haitian life and culture and underscores how their views on Haiti and Haitians were shaped by primarily by Western imperialism even as they sought to challenge it.