Tag Archives: history

Migrations and Microhistories: An interview with historian Matthew J. Smith

MATTHEW J. SMITH is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. His first book, Red and Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change, 1934-1957 is a brilliant, pioneering account of the remarkable political history of Haiti from the end of the US Occupation to the rise of Francois [...]
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Ebola, Cholera, and the Epidemiology of Anti-Blackness or, Black Lives Don’t Matter

The ravages of Ebola in West Africa and of cholera in Haiti – and the world’s response to both – remind us that the scourge of anti-Blackness is savage, deadly, and global. The response to the two epidemics suggests that Black people are expendable, unprotected from the most abject and degrading forms of suffering, immaterial [...]
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John Brown and Hayti

John Brown was not a madman to shed blood when he knew the penalty for so doing was his own life. In the opening he had sense enough to know better than that, but wanted the citizens of Virginia calmly to hold arms and let him usurp the government, manumit our slaves, confiscate the property [...]
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France, the West Indies, and the History of Slavery

The French Revolution was a bourgeois revolution, and the basis of bourgeois wealth was the slave trade and the slave plantations in the colonies. Let there be no mistake about this. “Sad irony of human history,” says Jaures, “the fortunes created at Bordeaux, at Nantes by the slave-trade gave to the [...]
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“Haitian people will hoist the flag of Charlemagne Peralte and will get rid of the bloody pro-imperialist dynasty of Duvalier.”

Image: Péralte, Charlemagne (Studio gráfico fatamorgana, 1979. Source: International Institute of Social History.
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Abduction & Assistance: An Interview with Donald Rumsfeld

Q:  Mr. Secretary? Rumsfeld:  Yes, sir? Q:  I wonder if you could tell us how many U.S. troops do you think, in a round figure, might be required — might be sent to Haiti, and how long do you think they would stay?  And also, President Aristide is claiming now that he was virtually kidnapped by the [...]
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Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 12, 2010

Image: Bourmond Bryon (1920?-2004), “Untitled” (Date?). Source: Conservation of Paintings-Smithsonian Institution Haiti Cultural Recovery Project. Also see [pdf].
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Radical Black Reading: Summer 2013

The New York Times’ dismissive, error-strewn obituary of Una G. Mulzac, the late proprietor of Harlem’s now-closed Liberation Books, cast her as a cantankerous crank-pot holding anachronistic political beliefs. Yet for many people, folk like Mulzac were historians, vernacular archivists, and living repositories of pan-African memory. Places like Liberation Books – alongside San Francisco’s endangered [...]
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