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This chapter continues the examination, begun at the end of chapter 3, of how geological fantasy might be organized in opposition to chattel slavery and racial hierarchy in the US by focusing on the uptake of geological tropes and analyses in writing by African American men at midcentury. The chapter highlights fugitive and speculative geology, which drew on the aesthetic and historical dimensions of the science to develop its potential for resisting slavery and generating alternative forms of African American humanity. It explicates citations of volcanism by Frederick Douglass and J. Sella Martin, who framed it both as a figure for Black heroic leadership and, conversely, as an index of geologies and ecologies suggesting genres of the human other than possessive individualism. The chapter also considers James McCune Smith's geological theories of race and Black worldmaking, which deftly employed geology to counter white-supremacist theories of biological fixity and to imagine modes of Black worldmaking.

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