This book explores the relationship between U.S. imperial aspirations and the circumscription of domestic civil liberties, especially the rights of the African American population. Central to this framework is the figure of the refugee, the homeless foreigner who constitutes a threat to national identity. Waligora-Davis demonstrates the importance of this figure to African Americans, people who possess a national identity, but are despised as 'other', 'foreign' and not belonging to the nation. African Americans are effectively rendered refugees when their injuries become invisible, when possibilities for redress are foreclosed. In response, the African American imaginary has repeatedly summoned the notion of sanctuary, a space that is imagined as utopian but that too often proves unattainable. Sanctuary presents an original contribution by outlining the ways that African Americans' challenges to citizenship and nation have failed to live up to a more human and global outlook. Black intellectuals and artists have long understood that domestic race relations are shaped by and help to shape US foreign relations and expansionist/imperialist empires. Sanctuary shows how by providing important and original historically-grounded readings of works by Melville and Du Bois, while introducing us to new sources within Langston Hughes' writings and popular texts like the Chicago Tribune's coverage of the Chicago race riot.