Reassessing Claude McKay’s writing about North Africa, this article contends that McKay saw sites in this region as uniquely felicitous to staging conversations between global socialism and the Black diasporic avant-garde. His attention to site-specific interracial urban cultures serves as a counterpoint to the Depression-fueled Pan-Africanism that increasingly defined W. E. B. Du Bois’s editorials for the Crisis. At the same time, McKay’s persistent interest in the activities of the Liberator suggests a surprising resonance between their aesthetics to his locodescriptive verse. Bringing these strands together, the article finds that McKay did not seek a synesthetic resolution to the question of organizing an urban community or an integrationist racial future but, rather, sought to highlight the importance of dissensus despite global uncertainty. The article considers McKay’s formal poetics and fiction together, comparing his visual tactics with the French and British Colonial Expositions’ “panoramas.”

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