Ira Dworkin, “Congo Love Song: African American Culture and the Crisis of the Colonial State” (UNC Press, 2017)

In his 1903 hit “Congo Love Song,” James Weldon Johnson recounts a sweet if seemingly generic romance between two young Africans. While the song’s title may appear consistent with that narrative, it also invokes the site of King Leopold II of Belgium’s brutal colonial regime at a time when African…