In the spring of 2012, The Public Archive began running a series of interviews with historians, writers, photographers, filmmakers and activists who work on Haiti, the Caribbean, and the Black World.

“As subjugated and exploited workers, Haitians and Jamaicans interpreted Garveyism not only in racial terms, but also in economic terms. The braceros obtained a class analysis of their circumstances and status in Cuba from Garveyism.”

Black Anarchists and Pan-Africanists: An interview with Philip A. Howard

“French Quebecers came to see themselves as nègres blancs, or the white niggers of America. But this raises the question of the invisibility of actual nègres in Quebec … “

Nations and Nègres: An interview with David Austin

“The book was a pictorial, intellectual, subversive experiment in thinking through a black kingdom—the one Aponte and his companions were seeking to create, the one modeled by contemporary Haiti, by historical Ethiopia.”

“After the U.S. Occupation, Haitian radicals felt that the nineteenth century cycle had ended. Marxism, surrealism, and a renewed noiriste discourse fueled that hope.”

Migrations and Microhistories: An interview with Matthew J. Smith

“Q: Rep. Waters claims Aristide was led away in handcuffs by US Marines, that they were part of a coup to remove him. Rumsfeld: (Laughs.)”

Abduction and Assistance: An interview with Donald Rumsfeld

“I contend that we don’t know what many religious groups and other charities are really doing in Haiti.”

Solidarity and Sustainability: An interview with Sokari Ekine

“Dessalines was my muse, the impetus for my work: the fondateur so reviled by the West that no historian wrote about him except to denigrate him.”

Dread and Dispossesion: An interview with Colin Dayan

“Privileging the spiral – as form, as idea – above politicized notions of blackness or Haitianness, Frankétienne, Fignolé, and Philoctète all very pointedly refuse anything that might smack of a fetishization of the folkloric or the so-called primitive in their writing.”

Insularity and Internationalism: An interview with Kaiama L. Glover

“My hope is that one day Haiti will be under the radar like Barbados or St Lucia, that it will not be the destination of choice either for thrill seekers or bleeding hearts.”

Distance and Detours: An interview with J. Michael Dash

“I think we’re at the beginning of a great flowering of work on Dessalines: it’s time to move beyond the more familiar portraits of him and really engage seriously with him as a major Atlantic political figure and thinker.”

Aftershocks and Avengers: An interview with Laurent Dubois

“When I mentioned that the Americans had stopped Haiti’s client president’s salary, Munro was incredulous. I gave him an unimpeachable source, and he confessed that when he himself was doing research on the occupation and had come across a document detailing coercion of Haitian politicians, he couldn’t believe it, but when he looked at the bottom of the page he found his own signature!”

Archives and Anti-Colonialism: An interview with Hans R. Schmidt


Image: Belkis Ayón Manso (Havana, Cuba, January 23, 1967 – September 11, 1999).

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  • […] THE PUBLIC ARCHIVE: Ada Ferrer is Professor of History and Latin American Studies at New York University. Her research focuses on the themes of race and slavery, and nationalism and revolution, in the nineteenth-century Caribbean and Atlantic World. Her first book, Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868–1898, a critical, path-breaking study of the multiracial history of Cuban independence, was awarded the Berkshire Book Prize for the best first book by a woman historian in any field of history. Insurgent Cuba was translated into Spanish and published in Havana as Cuba Insurgente: Raza, nación y revolución and in French as La Guerre d’Indépendance Cubaine: Insurrection et Émancipation à Cuba! 1868-1898. Ferrer’s second book, Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution, has just been published. It promises to add to our understanding of both Haiti’s and Cuba’s struggles for freedom and the significance and impact of the Haitian Revolution on the Americas. Ferrer’s articles have appeared in the American Historical Review, Annales, Review: Journal of the Fernand Braudel Center, Revista de Indias, Caminos, and Radical History Review. […]

  • Kramer auto Pingback[…] of Hispaniola, where Haiti calls its geographic home. In particular, I found fascinating the Interviews page that has transcribed various interviews with such people like the former American Secretary of […]

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