A Visit To / A Visit From / The Island

“….We are presented with a diptych of two beach scenes: one set on a sunny day off the coast of a posh resort with white people sunbathing and engaging in leisure activities; the other set in a storm with dark-skinned people―possibly Haitian refugees fleeing to Florida, in the midst of a crisis involving a seemingly hopeless rescue…. Its message is stark and in-your-face: the white people are completely oblivious to the harsh reality experienced by non-whites in these tropical island paradises…..” Source.

Eric Fischl, “A Visit To / A Visit From / The Island,” (1983), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

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Comments on UN corruption and UN cholera during the last press conference of H.E. Ms. Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, 13 January 2017

Highlights from the 53.18 mark. H/T @innercitypress.

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Port-au-Prince, January 12, 2010, 16:53

Image: United States Southern Command, photo by RQ-4 Global Hawk after January, 12, 2010 earthquake.

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Nat Turner and the Haitian Revolution

In consequence of the alarming increase of the Black population at the South, fears have been long entertained, that it might one day be the unhappy lot of the whites, in that section, to witness scenes similar to those which but a few years since, nearly depopulated the once flourishing island of St. Domingo of its white inhabitants — but, these fears have never been realized even in a small degree, until the fatal morning of the 22d of August last, when it fell to the lot of the inhabitants of a thinly settled township of Southampton county (Virginia) to witness a scene horrid in the extreme! — when FIFTY FIVE innocent persons (mostly women and children) fell victims to the most inhuman barbarity. The melancholy and bloody event was as sudden and unexpected, as unprecedented for cruelty — for many months previous an artful black, down by the name of NAT TURNER, (a slave of Mr. Edward Travis) who had been taught to read and write, and who hypocritically and the better to enable him to effect his nefarious designs, assumed the character of a Preacher, and as such was sometimes permitted to visit and associate himself with many of the Plantation Negroes, for the purpose … of christianizing and to teach them the propriety of their remaining faithful and obedient to their masters; but, in reality, to persuade and to prepare them in the most sly and artful manner to become they instruments of their slaughter! — in this too he well succeeded, by representing to the poor deluded wretches the Blessings of Liberty, and the inhumanity and justice of their being forced like brutes fro the land of their nativity, and doomed without fault or crime to perpetual bondage, and by those who were not more entitled to their liberty than themselves! — he too represented to them the happy effects which had attended the united efforts of their brethren in St. Domingo, and elsewhere, and encouraged them with the assurance that a similar effort on their part, could not fail to produce a similar effect, and not only restore them to liberty but would produce them wealth and ease!

Samuel Warner. Authentic narrative of the tragical scene which was witnessed in Southampton Country, Virginia, on Monday the 22d of August las, when fifty-five of its inhabitants were massacred by the Blacks, etc. (1831).

Another startling document that linked the events in the French West Indies with the violent overthrow of slavery in the United States was the letter received in Southampton County, Virginia, shortly after the Nat Turner revolt. It was forwarded to the governor of Virginia, James Floyd, who used it in his annual message to the state legislature to prove that outsiders were bent upon destroying Slavery in the South. “Nero” begins the letter pointedly: “Oppression and revenge are two prominent traits in human character; and as long as the former exists, the latter is justifiable.” The author, referring to both St. Domingue and Haiti, state the “our object is to seek revenge for indignities and abuses received– and to sell our live[s] at as a high a price as possible.” Nero assured blacks that they were strong enough and well armed enough to begin their retribution, and that “Hayti offers an asylum for those who survive the approaching carnage.

Alfred N. Hunt, Haiti’s Influence on Antebellum America (1988)

…the recollections of St. Domingo were still vivid in 1831.

William Sidney Drewry, The Southampton Insurrection (1900).

Also see:

Southampton County, Virginia: Court of Oyer and Terminer Trials, August 31 – November 21, 1831, The Nat Turner Project.

Thomas R. Gray, The Confessions of Nat Turner (1831).

Henry Bibb, Slave Insurrection in Southampton County, VA., headed by Nat Turner (1850)

The Nat Turner Insurrection, Anglo-African Magazine (1859)

Thomas Wentworth Higginson, “Nat Turner’s Insurrection,” The Atlantic (1861) and Black Rebellion: Five Slave Revolts (1998)

“After Nat Turner: A Letter from the North,” The Journal of Negro History (1970). [$$]

Image: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. “Nat Turner & his confederates in conference.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1863.

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W.E.B. Du Bois, “Toussaint L’Ouverture and the Anti-Slavery Effort, 1787-1806”

“The role which the great Negro Toussaint, called L’Ouverture, played in the history of the United States has seldom been fully appreciated. Representing the age of revolution in America, he rose to leadership through a bloody terror, which contrived a Negro ‘problem’ for the Western Hemisphere, intensified and defined the anti-slavery movement, became one of the causes, and probably the prime one, which led Napoleon to sell Louisiana for a song, and finally, through the interworking of all these effects, rendered more certain the final prohibition of the slave-trade by the United States in 1807.”

from W.E.B. Du Bois, The suppression of the African slave-trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870 (1904).

Image: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. “Toussaint L’Ouverture receiving a Proclamation.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1821.

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Gwendolyn Midlo Hall: Essays in Black World/Negro Digest, 1967-1972

Essays by African Diaspora historian Gwendolyn Midlo Hall published in Black World/Negro Digest between 1967 and 1972:

St. Malcolm and the Black Revolutionist,” Negro Digest, November 1967.

“Black Resistance in Colonial Haiti“, Negro Digest, February 1968.

Black Resistance in Colonial Haiti,” Black World/Negro Digest (February 1968

The Myth of Benevolent Spanish Slave Laws,” Negro Digest, March 1969.

Africans in the Americas,” Negro Digest, March 1969.

Rural, Black College,” Negro Digest, March 1969,

“Mechanisms for Exploiting the Black Community,” Parts ONE and TWONegro Digest, October and November 1969.

What Toussaint Louverture Can Teach Us,” Black World, February 1972.

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Cedric J. Robinson, 1940-2016: Memorials, Tributes, and a Bibliography

Tributes and Memorials

Tributes to Cedric Robinson, Race & Class, June 9, 2016.

Black Study Group (London), “Cedric Robinson 1940 – 2016,” dark matter: in the ruins of imperial culture (June 12, 2016)

Tributes to Cedric Robinson on the African American Intellectual History Society blog.

Josh Myers, Cedric Robinson and the Black Radical Tradition., U.S. Intellectual History Society Blog, June 15 2016

Robin D.G. Kelley, Cedric J. Robinson: the Making of a Black Radical intellectual, Counterpunch, June 17, 2016

Books by Cedric J. Robinson

Leadership: A Mythic Paradigm (Ph.D. Dept. of Political Science, Stanford University 1975)

The Terms of Order: Political Science and the Myth of Leadership (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1980) [republished by UNC Press, 2016, with a foreword by Erica R. Edwards].

Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition. (London: Zed Books, 1983) [Republished by UNC Press, 2000, with a new preface and a foreword by Robin D.G. Kelley]

Black Movements in America (New York: Routledge, 1997).

An Anthropology of Marxism. (Aldershot, Hampshire, England: Burlington, VT, 2001).

Forgeries of Memory and Meaning: Blacks and the Regimes of Race in American Theater and Film Before World War II (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2012).

Articles, Essays, and Reviews

“Malcolm Little As a Charismatic Leader.” Afro-american Studies. (1972).

“A critique of W.E.B. DuBois’ Black Reconstruction,” The Black Scholar, Vol. 8, No. 7, THE BLACK SOUTH (May 1977), pp. 44-50

“The emergent Marxism of Richard Wright’s ideology,” Race & Class, vol. 19, 3 (January 1978); pp. 221-237.

“The emergence and limitations of European radicalism,” Race & Class, vol. 21, 2, (October 1979): pp. 145-170.

“Richard Wright: marxism and the petite-bourgeoisie,” Race & Class, vol. 21, 4 (April 1980): pp. 353-368.

Review: Race and Politics in South Africa, Contemporary Sociology. 9.3 (1980)

Notes toward a “Native” Theory of History,” Review (Fernand Braudel Center), Vol. 4, No. 1 (Summer, 1980), pp. 45-78

“Domination and imitation: Xala and the emergence of the black bourgeoisie,” Race & Class, vol. 22, 2 (October 1980), pp. 147-158.

“Black Intellectuals at the British Core, 1920s and 1930s,” (London, Institute of Education, 1981 [?])

“Coming to terms: the Third World and the dialectic of imperialism,” Race & Class, vol. 22, 4 (April 1981): pp. 363-386.

“Amilcar Cabral and the Dialectics of Portuguese Colonialism,” Radical America, 15.3 (May-June, 1981), 39-57

Review: The People’s Cause: a history of guerrillas in Africa By Basil Davidson (Harlow, Longmans, 1981), Race & Class, vol. 23, 4 (April 1982): pp. 333-337.

“Class antagonisms and black migrations: a review article,” Race & Class, vol. 24, 1 (July 1982), pp. 47-60

Review: Blackwater: historical studies in race, class consciousness and revolution, by Manning Marable (Dayton, Ohio, Black Praxis Press, 1981), Race & Class, vol. 24, 2(October 1982): pp. 193-195.

C. L. R. James and the Black Radical Tradition,” Review (Fernand Braudel Center), Vol. 6, No. 3 (Winter, 1983), pp. 321-391

Review: Indiana Jones, the Third World and American foreign policy: a review article, Race & Class, vol. 26, 2 (October 1984) pp. 83-92.

“The African diaspora and the Italo-Ethiopian crisis,” Race & Class, vol. 27, 2 (October 1985): pp. 51-65.

“The American press and the repairing of the Philippines,” Race & Class, vol. 28, 2 (October 1986) pp. 31-44.

Capitalism, Slavery and Bourgeois Historiography,” History Workshop, No. 23 (Spring, 1987), pp. 122-140

Review: Long Gone: the Mecklenburg Six and the theme of escape in black folklore, by Daryl Cumber Dance, (Tennessee, University of Tennessee Press, 1987), Race & Class, vol. 29, 2 (October 1987): pp. 96-98.

“DuBois and Black sovereignty: the case of Liberia,” Race & Class, vol. 32, 2 (October 1990): pp. 39-50.

Oliver Cromwell Cox and the Historiography of the West,” Cultural Critique, No. 17 (Winter, 1990-1991), pp. 5-19

“C. L. R. James and the World System.” The Clr James Journal. 3.1 (1992)

“The appropriation of Frantz Fanon,” Race & Class, vol. 35, 1 (July 1993): pp. 79-91.

“Race, Capitalism, and the Anti-Democracy” in Reading Rodney King/Reading Urban Uprising, ed. by Robert Gooding-Williams. New York: Routledge, 1993.

“US The real world of political correctness,” Race & Class, vol. 35, 3 (January 1994): pp. 73-79.

“Mass Media and the US Presidency” in Questioning the Media: A Critical Introduction, ed. by John Downing et al. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1995.

In Search of a Pan-African Commonwealth,” Social Identities, Volume 2, Issue 1, February 1996, pages 161-168

In the Year 1915: D.W. Griffith and the Whitening of America,” Social Identities, Volume 3, Issue 2, (June 1997), pages 161-192

Blaxploitation and the misrepresentation of liberation,” Race & Class, vol. 40, 1 (July 1998): pp. 1-12.

The Inventions of the Negro,” Social Identities, Volume 7, Issue 3, September 2001, pages 329-361

“The Mulatta on Fillm: From Hollywood to the Mexican Revolution (With Luz Maria Cabral), Race & Class, vol. 45, 2 (October 2003) pp. 1-20.

The Comedy of Terror,” Radical History Review, Issue 85, Winter 2003, pp. 164-170

“The Black middle class and the mulatto motion picture,” Race & Class, vol. 47, 1 (July 2005): pp. 14-34.

Review: Black Power in the Belly of the Beast by Judson Jeffries, The Journal of African American History, Vol. 92, No. 4, New Black Power Studies: National, International, and Transnational Perspectives (Autumn, 2007), pp. 561-566


Capitalism, Marxism, and the Black Radical Tradition: An Interview with Cedric Robinson, January 1999.

Image: Cover of Race & Class special issue: Cedric Robinson and the Philosophy of Black Resistance, October 2005.

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Guantanamology or, Five Essays on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

File:First Marine Battalion (United States) landed on eastern side of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on 10 June 1898.jpg

Adam Hudson, “Reporting from Guantanamo (June 10 — June 22),” Free your mind, July 1, 2013

Paul Kramer, “A Useful Corner of the World: Guantánamo,” The New Yorker, July 30, 2013

Molly Crabapple, “It Don’t Gitmo Better Than This,” Vice, July 31, 2013 [Also: “Guantánamo Bay is Kafka in the Caribbean“]

Julia Thomas, “Guantanamology: Excavating Stories from GTMO’s Haitian Refugee Camps,” Guantánamo Public Memory Project, July 16, 2013

John Grisham, “After Guantánamo, Another Injustice,New York Times, August 10, 2013

Image: First Marine Battalion (United States) landed on eastern side of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on 10 June 1898. Source: Wikipedia.

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