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Black LandImperial Ethiopianism and African America$
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Nadia Nurhussein

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691190969

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691190969.001.0001

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Imperial Embellishment

Imperial Embellishment

(p.90) Chapter Four Imperial Embellishment
Black Land

Nadia Nurhussein

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the case of Harry Foster Dean, whose “The Pedro Gorino: The Adventures of a Negro Sea-Captain in Africa and on the Seven Seas in His Attempts to Found an Ethiopian Empire” recounts the tale of his ambition to build a black empire in Africa. Dean's effort led one of the major British participants in the Scramble for Africa to call him “the most dangerous ‘negro’ in the world.” The chapter also addresses the unofficial diplomatic role of William Henry Ellis, a flashy African American millionaire and the first American to visit with Emperor Menelik in 1903. Ellis was not the only African American to visit Abyssinia prior to the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. In 1922, A'Lelia Walker, daughter of the famed Madame C. J. Walker and host of a Harlem Renaissance salon, visited Empress Zauditu. Ellis did his best to curry favour with Emperor Menelik but was rumored to be planning to oust the emperor in order to take his seat on the throne.

Keywords:   Harry Foster Dean, Pedro Gorino, black empire, Scramble for Africa, negro, William Henry Ellis, African American, Emperor Menelik, Abyssinia

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