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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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Martial Ethiopianism in Verse

Martial Ethiopianism in Verse

(p.144) Chapter Six Martial Ethiopianism in Verse
Black Land

Nadia Nurhussein

Princeton University Press

This chapter addresses the explosion of verse dealing with the “Ethiopian Crisis,” or the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, such as J. Harvey L. Baxter's “Sonnets for the Ethiopians” and Melvin Tolson's “The Bard of Addis Ababa.” Returning to traditional tropes of nineteenth-century Ethiopianism even in the face of modern warfare, Baxter calls upon the nation's resources of antiquity to produce a counteroffensive against the ancient Roman Empire that Mussolini looked upon with such nostalgia. It also discusses the occasional verse by lesser lights and unknown bards such as Rufus Gibson and Jay N. Hill and by important figures such as Marcus Garvey. The tenor of Garvey's elegies written in honor of fallen Ethiopian war heroes Ras Nasibu of Ogaden and Ras Desta presents a fascinating contrast to his expressed disdain for Haile Selassie. The chapter also talks about the global importance of the agitprop role of the New Times and Ethiopia News.

Keywords:   Ethiopian Crisis, J. Harvey L. Baxter, Melvin Tolson, Ethiopianism, Roman Empire, Rufus Gibson, Jay N. Hill, Marcus Garvey, New Times, Ethiopia News

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