Briana Adline Royster F'21

Briana Adline Royster
Doctoral Candidate
History
New York University

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2021
Doctoral Candidate
History
New York University
Of Our Stock and Blood: Empire, Religion, and Afro-Diasporic Identity, 1838-1945

“Of Our Stock and Blood” draws on interdisciplinary frameworks from Africana and gender studies to argue that as the United States emerged as an imperial power during the late nineteenth century, missionaries of African descent working within African American-based institutions in (formerly) British Guiana and Dutch Guiana drew upon their own notions of empire and race to leverage power in South America and the United States. Significantly, these Afro-diasporic connections expanded the role of the Guianas within visions of international Black solidarity, but connections also remained part of a larger project of empire that depended on and at times flourished through the labor of Black women. This work centers the early and continued importance of the Guianas as an ideological “Black nation” through which African Americans imagined their diasporic destinies and identities from the era of British emancipation in the 1830s.