Part of the larger book project “Empire, Nation, Diaspora: Cape Town and Constituting a Black Archive,” this essay explores two Caribbean intellectuals, Eric Walrond and Henry Sylvester Williams, who included the South African Cape in their mappings of the Caribbean in the short story collection Tropic Death and the pamphlet The British Negro, respectively. The essay demonstrates how and why South Africa proved significant to an emergent radical consciousness in the Caribbean and the vicissitudes of turning to south(ern), not only West, Africa to think through Africa as a conceptual frame in Caribbean theory and literature. This essay pushes for a New World African diasporic rethinking of Cape Town as an alternative city-space within such imaginaries—alternative to that for which Harlem has become metonymic: the New Negro and the Renaissance in black literary and cultural production of the 1920s and 1930s.

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