Girard on Women and the Haitian Revolution

Girard, Philippe. “Rebelles with a Cause: Women in the Haitian War of Independence, 1802-04.” Gender & History 21, no. 1 (4, 2009): 60-85.

Abstract:  This article studies the role of white, black and mulatto women during the last two years of the Haitian War of Independence, also known as the Haitian Revolution (1802–04). It might be expected that women’s contribution was limited in wartime, but this article concludes otherwise. Desirable women were sought as prizes symbolic of a man’s status in colonial society, or actively used their appeal to obtain political favours. Women of colour contributed to the rebellion in the fields of logistics, espionage and even combat. They also experienced martyrdom when convicted of aiding the rebel army. White women, in turn, were considered such an integral part of the colonial order that the rebels, led by Toussaint Louverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines, targeted them, as well as other civilians, during the fighting, then proceeded to exterminate all surviving whites after the rebel victory.

Available through Wiley InterScience Journals (sub only)


Ivan van Sertima Dies

via Stabroek News – Ivan van Sertima dies:

Well known Guyanese-British literary critic, linguist, poet and anthropologist, Dr Ivan van Sertima, died recently, according to a release from the Guyana Cultural Association New York Inc/Guyana Folk Festival which expressed condolences to his family.

According to the release Dr van Sertima was born in January 1935 in Kitty when the country was still a British colony and remained a British citizen. After completing his primary and secondary schooling in Guyana, he travelled to London and went to university. In addition to producing an array of creative writing, van Sertima also completed undergraduate studies in African languages and literature and during his studies he became fluent in Swahili and Hungarian. He also worked for several years in Great Britain as a journalist, doing weekly broadcasts to the Caribbean and Africa.

He later immigrated to the US where he entered the University of Rutgers in New Brunswick, New Jersey for graduate work and he has had over 30 years of teaching at the university where he also completed his Master’s degree.

He was an associate professor of African Studies in the Department of African Studies.

Gordon-Reed Wins George Washington Book Prize

Along with the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize:

“Historian and author Annette Gordon-Reed has won a literary Triple Crown with her remarkable “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family,” her 798-page exploration of Thomas Jefferson and the family of slaves with whom he became intimately involved. The book has won the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize and, yesterday, the $50,000 George Washington Book Prize, given annually to the “most important new book about America’s founding era.”

Read the rest here


“The Genesis of African and Indian Cooperation in Colonial North America: An Interview with Helen Hornbeck Tanner”

The Genesis of African and Indian Cooperation in Colonial North America: An Interview with Helen Hornbeck Tanner — Miller 56 (2): 285 — Ethnohistory.

Ivor Miller, cultural historian and author of  <i>Aerosol Kingdom: Subway Painters of New York City</i> interviews Helen Hornbeck Tanner in the most recent issue of <i>Ethnohistory</i>:

Dr. Helen Hornbeck Tanner, a senior research fellow at the Newberry Library, studied American Indian and colonial American history for over six decades. In this interview she discusses little-known themes including African and Indian coexistence and cooperation, beginning in 1619 in the Chesapeake Bay region, and spanning Louisiana, Minnesota, New York, Northern Mexico, Ohio, Spanish Florida, and Texas in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including an Underground Railroad from Michigan into Canada. Also discussed are a system of inter-Indian diplomacy that stretched across the United States east of the Rocky Mountains and the long history of attempts by the U.S. government to assimilate American Indians.

Available at Duke University Press Journals (sub only)

Orishas and Saints in Spring 2009 Critical Inquiry

Blanchard, Marc. “From Cuba with Saints.” Critical Inquiry 35, no. 3 (January 1, 2009): 383-416.

First paragraph steal:

In Christian religions, saints are considered intermediaries between humans and God, and they have often given voice to the needs of communities during hard times, such as natural disasters, invasions, migrations, and other social, economic, and political conflicts. Thus in late fifth‐century Paris, Geneviève is said to have brought together the Parisians terrified by Attila the Hun and to have led them peacefully to pray and prevail against the barbarians. In Afro‐Cuban religion, orishas (saints) also have this function, but their voice is distinctly African, Caribbean, and Cuban. They maintain a connection to a world originating in Africa and marked by the realities of the slave trade and maroon resistance, the struggle for independence from Spain from the 1860s to the 1890s, the Spanish‐American War of 1898, the subsequent American dominion of Cuba until 1959, and the Cuban Revolution and its aftermath, including fifty years of the U.S. trade and culture embargo against Fidel Castro’s regime. Unlike Christian saints, Cuban orishas maintain a deep connection to the political resistance of societies in which secrecy and community are primordial. Afro‐Cuban saints have first and foremost resisted projects of imperial dominance and internal repression. The figure central to this mystique of resistance has been the cimarrón or fugitive slave. Since the wars of independence from Spain the major heroes of Cuban independence—Antonio Maceo, José Martí, Che Guevara, and Fidel Castro—have had to reconcile these two projects, that of the state and that of an Afro‐Cuban religion, and thus in their assembly of the Cuban nation to weave strands of beliefs and practices that remain distinctively African or Afro‐Cuban. I will be making the point that these are indeed heroes in the strict sense of the term; they, much like the cimarrón, have through their deeds become inseparable from the narrative of the Cuban state and, precisely because of the areligious (and especially anti‐Catholic) strand in the national project, have ended up playing the part of saints or holy men both in Cuba and in other places. All the heroes/saints whom I review here are dead, with the exception of Fidel Castro, who temporarily transferred his power to his brother Raúl in 2006 and in 2008 resigned all his official functions and is in ill health. In the case of Martí, Maceo, and Che Guevara, their having suffered martyrdom and death has made them indispensable not only to the present regime in Cuba but also to the average Cuban. They are more alive for being dead, and Castro is in fact more powerful for being frail. Indeed, I would argue that Fidel has never been more important to Cubans as, contrary to what most Americans and Cuban exiles believe, many Cubans on the island argue that nothing is done without Fidel’s consent or the interpretation of his consent and insist that his present abdication from power proves to them that he does love Cuba and the Cuban people more than he loves his own post.

University of Chicago Journals (sub only)

2008 & 2007 Wesley-Logan PrizeWinners: Diaspora Religion Among the Black Caribs, “New Negroes” in the Caribbean, and Dreams of Africa in Alabama


Johnson, Paul. Diaspora conversions : Black Carib religion and the recovery of Africa. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.

From the University of California Press website:

By joining a diaspora, a society may begin to change its religious, ethnic, and even racial identifications by rethinking its “pasts.” This pioneering multisite ethnography explores how this phenomenon is affecting the remarkable religion of the Garifuna, historically known as the Black Caribs, from the Central American coast of the Caribbean. It is estimated that one-third of the Garifuna have migrated to New York City over the past fifty years. Paul Christopher Johnson compares Garifuna spirit possession rituals performed in Honduran villages with those conducted in New York, and what emerges is a compelling picture of how the Garifuna engage ancestral spirits across multiple diasporic horizons. His study sheds new light on the ways diasporic religions around the world creatively plot itineraries of spatial memory that at once recover and remold their histories.


Adderley, Rosanne. “New negroes from Africa” : slave trade abolition and free African settlement in the nineteenth-century Caribbean. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006.

From the Indiana University Press website:

In 1807 the British government outlawed the slave trade, and began to interdict slave ships en route to the Americas. Through decades of treaties with other slave trading nations and various British schemes for the use of non-slave labor, tens of thousands of Africans rescued from illegally operating slave ships were taken to British Caribbean colonies as free settlers. Some became paid laborers, others indentured servants. The encounter between English-speaking colonists and the new African immigrants are the focus of this study of the Bahamas and Trinidad—colonies which together received fifteen thousand of these “liberated Africans” taken from captured slave ships. Adderley describes the formation of new African immigrant communities in territories which had long depended on enslaved African labor. Working from diverse records, she tries to tease out information about the families of liberated Africans, the labor they performed, their religions, and the culture they brought with them. She addresses issues of gender, ethnicity, and identity, and concludes with a discussion of repatriation.

Diouf, Sylviane. Dreams of Africa in Alabama : the slave ship Clotilda and the story of the last Africans brought to America. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Winner of the 2007 Wesley-Logan Prize of the American Historical Association

From the Oxford University Press Blog:

On a January night in 2002, a truck backed up to a statue in front of Union Missionary Baptist Church, north of Mobile, Alabama.

One or two people got out, cut through parts of the heavy bronze bust, ripped it from its brick base, and disappeared with their loot. The theft shocked and angered the congregation of pastor A. J. Crawford, Sr. They had just celebrated the New Year and were preparing to commemorate, the following month, the 130th anniversary of the church. Unlike those of the Virgin Mary or George Washington, this statue was the only one of its kind in the country. The theft struck at the very core of a community that will never have any equivalent in North America. Determined to bring the statue back home, the congregation established a reward fund. In case the bust was not found, the money would be used to cast a new one. The wooden model, carved fifty years earlier, was still in town.

The statue dated back to 1959, when a steel shaft was sunk 100 feet into the earth in front of the church, to commemorate the one hundred years that had passed since the honored man and his companions had set foot on Alabama soil. The bust and the shaft were the symbols of an exceptional tale. In the summer of 1860, less than a year before the outbreak of the Civil War, one hundred and ten young men, women, and children were brought to the Alabama River, north of Mobile. They had just spent six weeks onboard the Clotilda, a fast schooner that had brought them from a world away. They were the last recorded group of captive Africans brought to the United States. Acting for Timothy Meaher, one of the most prominent businessmen in Mobile, Captain William Foster had smuggled them in under cover of night. He had to be careful because decades earlier, on January 1, 1808, the country had abolished the international slave trade. Although tens of thousands of Africans had since landed, the slavers could, in theory, be hanged.

After emancipation, the young people tried to get back home but, unable to do so, they eventually bought land and founded their own town. One of their first major enterprises was the construction of a church. Cudjo Lewis used to ring the bell. One hundred and thirty years later, it was his bronze bust that was stolen from in front of the brick building that had replaced the white clapboard church erected by the men and women of the Clotilda. Cudjo did not belong to a distant past: he lived through World War I, Garvey’s Back to Africa Movement, the Great Migration, and the Great Depression. He died in 1935, the last survivor of the last slave ship.

Cudjo and his companions were part of a tiny group of people born in Africa who witnessed the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the early decades of the twentieth century. To these men and women in their eighties and nineties living in the Jim Crow South, the Middle Passage was still a painfully vivid memory.

They have been all but forgotten today, but those who arrived on the Clotilda have also been denied. Their very existence was disregarded by President James Buchanan, who assured the country that the last slave ship had landed in 1858. W. E. B. Du Bois did not include their voyage in his celebrated book The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade. Warren S. Howard and Hugh Thomas dismissed it as a hoax in their extensive studies of the transatlantic slave trade. And up to the present day, historians and writers tout the Wanderer as the last slave ship to the United States, even though her trip had ended eighteen months earlier than the Clotilda’s...

Read the rest here.
From the website of the American Historical Association:

The Wesley-Logan Prize jointly sponsored by the AHA and the ASALH for an outstanding book on some aspect of the history of the dispersion, settlement, and adjustment, and the return of peoples originally from Africa. This award was established in 1993 and will be awarded annually.

EVENT: May 30, Beitos Discuss T. R. M. Howard in Chicago

“Dear friends,

Please help us spread the word!  On Saturday, May 30, from 2-4pm at Woodson Regional Library  [9525 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60628], we will celebrate the publication of a long-awaited biography of Dr. T.R.M. Howard, the legendary Mississippi civil rights leader, National Medical Association president, and Chicago political activist.

Join us as we welcome David Beito, Professor of History at University of Alabama, and Linda Royster Beito, Professor and chair of Social Sciences at Stillman College.  They will present their book, “Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power.” Copies of this University of Illinois Press publication will be available for purchase and signing.

I first heard about Dr. Howard and his pioneering civil rights organization, the Regional Council of Negro Leadership, when I arrived in Mississippi in 1963. This is a story we all need to hear and learn from….”

For more information about this event, contact

Portugal Omits Slave History–Sign the Petition

The petition in English, French and Portuguese, can be found below and is available for signing here:

For more information contact:

Ana Lucia Araujo
Assistant Professor
Howard University
Department of History
Frederick Douglass Memorial Hall
2441 6th Street N.W.
Room 302
Washington D.C.
United States

* * *

[French Follows]

The contest « The Seven Portuguese Wonders » ignores the history of
slavery and the slave trade

About twenty years ago several European, American and African
countries started affirming and promoting the painful memory and
heritage of slavery and the Atlantic slave trade. The promotion of the
slave past was translated not only by the publication of a large
number of historical works but also by the development of projects as
the Slave Route Project launched by UNESCO in 1994.

Over the last ten years, despite the difficulties and the fights
involving the emergence of the memory of the slave past of European,
American and African nations, the memory and the history of the
Atlantic slave trade was integrated into the public memory of several
countries in the three continents at both sides of the Atlantic. In
2001, through the Law Taubira, France was the first country to
recognize slavery and the slave trade as crimes against humanity. Also
in France, the May 10th is now the National Day of Commemoration of
the Memories of the Slave Trade, Slavery and its Abolitions ». In
2001, in Durban, South Africa, the Third Conference of the United
Nations Against Racism declared slavery as « crime against humanity ».
In 1992, at the House of Slaves in Gorée Island (Senegal), the Pope
John Paul II expressed his apologies for the role played by the
Catholic Church in the period of the Atlantic slave trade. Visiting
Africa, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and the Brazilian President, Luis
Inácio Lula da Silva also condemned the wrongs of the slave past. In
2006, Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, during a visit to
Elmina Castle (a site participating in the contest) in Ghana,
denounced the Atlantic slavery past. In 2007, during the
commemorations of the 200th anniversary of the British abolition of
the slave trade, the PM Tony Blair also expressed his deep sorrow for
the role played by England in the Atlantic trade of enslaved Africans.

In 2009, the government of Portugal, and several Portuguese
institutions as the University of Coimbra, chose the opposite path.
During the first semester of this same year, these institutions
supported the organization of a contest to choose the Seven Portuguese
Wonders in the World. In the list of the sites to be voted by the
public on Internet (, one can found not
only Elmina Castle (or Castle São Jorge da Mina), a slave trading
outpost and warehouse, founded by the Portuguese in 1482, but also the
old city of Ribeira Grande of Santiago Island in Cape Verde, as well
as Luanda and Mozambique Island. When describing these sites, the
organization of the contest omitted the history of these places and
the use they had during the period of the Atlantic slave trade. In the
text describing the Elmina Castle, they affirm that this site served
as slaves warehouse only after the Dutch occupation in1637.

In the name of historical accuracy and in order to be morally
responsible, we consider that the inclusion of these « monuments » in
such a contest should be followed by the full information about their
role during the Atlantic slave trade, and also by an explanation about
the present use of these sites. Presently, the Elmina or São Jorge da
Mina Castle, is a museum that tries to represent the history of the
Atlantic slave trade. Each year, thousands of visitors from the whole
world, among them many members of the African Diaspora, visit the
castle to honor their ancestors. The Portuguese government, the
institutions supporting the contest and its organizers ignored the
pain of all those whose ancestors were deported from these sites or
those who were raped or died there while waiting to be embarked. Is it
possible to separate the architecture of these sites from the role
they had in the past and still have in the present, as places of
memory of the great tragedy that was slavery and the slave trade to
the European colonies? According to recent studies
(, Portugal and later Brazil, its former colony,
were responsible for almost the half of the 12 million captives
transported through the Atlantic.

In respect to the history and the memory of millions of victims of the
Atlantic slave trade, we write this letter to denounce the omission of
the role these sites had in the Atlantic slave trade. We invite all
those who are concerned by the research on slavery and the Atlantic
slave trade to disagree with the attempt to diminish and erase the
history of this commerce, in order to exalt a glorious Portuguese past
expressed in the architectural « beauty » of these sites of death and

Ana Lucia Araujo, Howard University, Washington, United States
Arlindo Manuel Caldeira, CHAM, Lisboa, Portugal
Mariana Pinho Candido, Princeton University, Princeton, United States
Michel Cahen, Centre d’Études de l’Afrique Noire, CNRS, Bordeaux, France
Christine Chivallon, Centre d’Études de l’Afrique Noire, CNRS, Bordeaux, France
Myriam Cottias, CNRS, Directrice do Centre International de recherches
sur les esclavages, Paris, France
Maurice Jackson, Georgetown University, Washington, United States
Hendrik Kraay, University of Calgary, Canada
Jane Landers, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, United States
Jean-Marc Masseaut, Cahiers Anneaux de la Mémoire, Nantes, France
Hebe Mattos, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Claudia Mosquera Rosero-Labbé, Universidad Nacional de Colombia,
Bogotá, Colombia
João José Reis, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Brazil
Anna Seiderer, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium
Simão Souindola, Historien, Luanda, Angola
Jean-Michel Mabeko-Tali, Howard University, Washington, United States

* * *
[Portuguese Follows]

Le concours « Les 7 merveilles portugaises » ignore l’histoire de
l’esclavage et de la traite transatlantique

Il y a environ vingt ans, plusieurs pays européens, américains et
africains, ont commencé à affirmer la mémoire douloureuse de la traite
des Africains mis en esclavage aux Amériques et à mettre en valeur le
patrimoine qui lui est lié. Cette mise en valeur fut traduite non
seulement par la publication d’un grand nombre d’ouvrages
historiographiques mais s’exprima aussi par la mis en œuvre de projets
comme La Route de l’Esclave initié par l’UNESCO en 1994.

Malgré les difficultés et les luttes ayant entouré l’émergence de la
mémoire du passé esclavagiste des nations européennes, américaines et
africaines, depuis dix ans, la mémoire et l’histoire de la traite
atlantique ont commencé à intégrer la mémoire publique de plusieurs
pays dans les trois continents entourant l’Atlantique. En 2001, par la
loi Taubira, la France fut le premier pays à reconnaître l’esclavage
et la traite atlantique des esclaves comme crime contre l’humanité.
Aussi en France, le 10 mai est désormais « Journée Nationale de
Commémoration des Mémoires de la traite négrière, de l’esclavage et de
ses abolitions ». En 2001, à Durban en Afrique du Sud, la Troisième
Conférence de l’ONU contre le racisme a inscrit dans ses déclarations
finales l’esclavage en tant que « crime contre l’humanité ». En 1992,
à la Maison des esclaves dans l’Île de Gorée au Sénégal, le Pape
Jean-Paul II a formulé des excuses pour le rôle joué par l’Église
Catholique dans la traite transatlantique. En visite en Afrique, Bill
Clinton, George W. Bush et le Président du Brésil Luis Inácio Lula da
Silva, ont condamné les erreurs du passé esclavagiste. En 2006,
Michaelle Jean, gouverneure générale du Canada, en visite au Fort
Elmina (site qui fait partie du concours) au Ghana a dénoncé le passé
esclavagiste. En 2007, pendant les commémorations de l’anniversaire de
deux-cents ans de l’abolition de la traite britannique, Tony Blair a
exprimé son profond regret par le rôle joué par la Grande-Bretagne
dans le commerce atlantique d’Africains mis en esclavage.

En 2009, le gouvernement du Portugal e plusieurs institutions
portugaises dont l’Université de Coimbra, ont choisi le chemin opposé
à celui qui vient d’être décrit. Au cours du premier semestre de cette
même année, ces institutions ont appuyé la réalisation d’un concours
en vue de choisir les Sept Merveilles Portugaises dans le Monde. Dans
la liste des sites des merveilles à être élues par le public sur
Internet (, on y trouve non seulement
le Fort São Jorge da Mina (ou Elmina) entrepôt commercial fondé par
les Portugais en 1482, mais aussi la Vieille Ville (Ribeira Grande),
Île de Santiago au Cap Vert, ainsi que Luanda et l’Île de Mozambique.
En décrivant ces sites, l’organisation du concours a omis de s’en
remettre à l’histoire et de signaler l’usage qu’avaient ces lieux
pendant le commerce atlantique des esclaves. Dans le texte décrivant
le Fort Elmina, on y affirme que ce site fut l’entrepôt d’esclaves
seulement après l’occupation hollandaise du site, à partir de 1637.

Pour être fidèles à l’histoire et moralement responsables, nous
considérons que l’inclusion de ces « monuments » dans un tel concours
devrait être accompagnée d’informations complètes sur leur rôle dans
le commerce atlantique, de même que sur son usage présent. Le Fort de
São Jorge da Mina ou Elmina, par exemple, est aujourd’hui un musée qui
essaie de représenter l’histoire du commerce atlantique. Il s’agit
d’un lieu visité par des milliers de touristes du monde entier, parmi
lesquels plusieurs représentants de la diaspora africaine qui
cherchent à y rendre hommage à leurs ancêtres. Le gouvernement
portugais, les institutions qui appuient le concours et ses
organisateurs ignorent la douleur de ceux dont les ancêtres furent
déportés à partir de ces entrepôts commerciaux ou sont décédés sur
place. Est-il possible d’envisager de séparer l’architecture de ces
sites du rôle qu’ils ont eu dans le passé et qu’ils atlantique et
l’esclavage des Africains dans les colonies européennes ? D’après des
estimations récentes (, le Portugal, et plus tard
son ex-colonie, le Brésil, furent ensemble responsables pour presque
la moitié des 12 millions de captifs transportés par l’Atlantique.

Par respect face à l’histoire et à la mémoire des millions de victimes
de la traite atlantique des esclaves, nous venons par la présente
dénoncer l’omission du rôle qui ont eu ces lieux dans le commerce
atlantique d’Africains mis en esclavage. Nous invitons tous ceux et
celles qui sont concernés par la recherche sur le commerce atlantique
des esclaves et sur l’esclavage à manifester leur désaccord avec le
fait que l’histoire de ce commerce soit banalisée et effacé au profit
de l’exaltation d’un passé portugais glorieux exprimé dans la « beauté
» architecturale de tels sites de tragédie.

Ana Lucia Araujo, Howard University, Washington, États-Unis
Arlindo Manuel Caldeira, CHAM, Lisboa, Portugal
Mariana Pinho Candido, Princeton University, Princeton, États-Unis
Michel Cahen, Centre d’Études de l’Afrique Noire, CNRS, Bordeaux, France
Christine Chivallon, Centre d’Études de l’Afrique Noire, CNRS, Bordeaux, France
Myriam Cottias, CNRS, Directrice do Centre International de recherches
sur les esclavages, Paris, France
Maurice Jackson, Georgetown University, Washington, États-Unis
Hendrik Kraay, University of Calgary, Canada
Jane Landers, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, États-Unis
Jean-Michel Mabeko-Tali, Howard University, Washington, États-Unis
Jean-Marc Masseaut, Anneaux de la Mémoire, Nantes, France
Hebe Mattos, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brésil
Claudia Mosquera Rosero-Labbé, Universidad Nacional de Colombia,
Bogotá, Colombia
João José Reis, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Brésil
Anna Seiderer, Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale, Tervure, Belgique
Simão Souindola, Historien, Luanda, Angola

* * *

O concurso As 7 maravilhas portuguesas no mundo ignora a história da
escravidão e do tráfico atlântico

Há mais ou menos vinte anos, vários países europeus, americanos e
africanos vêm afirmando a memória dolorosa do comércio de africanos
escravizados e valorizando o patrimônio que lhe é associado. Essa
valorização se traduziu não somente na publicação de um grande número
de obras historiográficas, mas também se expressou na realização de
projetos como A Rota do Escravo iniciado pela UNESCO em 1994.

Apesar das dificuldades e das lutas políticas que envolveram a
emergência da memória do passado escravista das nações europeias,
americanas e africanas, de dez anos para cá a memória e a história do
comércio atlântico passaram a fazer parte da memória pública de muitos
países nos três continentes circundando o Atlântico. Em 2001, através
da Lei Taubira, a França foi o primeiro país a reconhecer a escravidão
e o tráfico atlântico como crimes contra a humanidade. Também na
França, o 10 de Maio é doravante “dia nacional de comemoração das
memórias do tráfico negreiro, da escravatura e das suas abolições”. Em
2001, em Durban na África do Sul, a Terceira Conferência da ONU contra
o racismo inscreveu em suas declarações finais a escravidão como
“crime contra a humanidade”. Em 1992, na Casa dos Escravos na Ilha de
Gorée no Senegal, o Papa João Paulo II expressou suas desculpas pelo
papel desempenhado pela Igreja Católica durante o tráfico atlântico.
Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, e o próprio Presidente do Brasil, Luis
Inácio Lula da Silva, condenaram publicamente a participação passada
de seus países no comércio atlântico de africanos escravizados. Em
2006, Michaelle Jean, governadora geral do Canadá, escolheu o Castelo
de Elmina em Gana para denunciar passado escravista. Em 2007, durante
as comemorações do aniversário de duzentos anos da abolição do tráfico
de escravos pela Inglaterra, foi a vez do ministro Tony Blair
expressar publicamente seu profundo pesar pelo papel da Grã-Bretanha
no comércio de africanos escravizados.

Em pleno ano de 2009, o governo de Portugal e instituições portuguesas
como a Universidade de Coimbra, escolheram um caminho oposto ao
descrito acima. No primeiro semestre desse ano essas instituições
apoiaram a realização de um concurso para escolher as Sete Maravilhas
Portuguesas no Mundo. Na lista das Sete Maravilhas a serem votadas
pelo público na internet (, constam não
somente o Castelo São Jorge da Mina (Elmina), entreposto comercial
fundado pelos portugueses em 1482, mas também a Cidade Velha (Ribeira
Grande) na Ilha de Santiago em Cabo Verde, além de Luanda e da Ilha de
Moçambique. Ao descrever esses sítios, a organização do concurso optou
por omitir o uso desses lugares para o comércio de escravos. No texto
descrevendo o Castelo São Jorge da Mina ou Elmina chegou-se ao cúmulo
de afirmar que aquele local foi entreposto de escravos somente a
partir da ocupação holandesa em 1637.

Para ser fiel à história e moralmente responsável, consideramos que a
inclusão desses “monumentos” no dito concurso deveria ser acompanhada
de informações completas sobre o papel deles no tráfico atlântico,
assim como sobre seu uso atual. O Castelo de São Jorge da Mina ou
Elmina, por exemplo, é hoje um museu que tenta retratar a história do
tráfico. Trata-se de um lugar visitado por milhares de turistas de
todo o mundo, entre os quais muitos representantes da diáspora
africana que buscam ali prestar homenagem a seus ancestrais. O governo
português, as instituições que apóiam o concurso e sua organização
ignoraram a dor daqueles que tiveram seus antepassados deportados
desses entrepostos comerciais e muitas vezes ali mortos. Seria
possível desvincular a arquitetura dessas construções do papel que
elas tiveram no passado e que ainda têm no presente enquanto lugares
de memória da imensa tragédia que representou o tráfico transatlântico
e a escravidão africana nas colônias européias ? Segundo as
estimativas mais recentes (, Portugal e
posteriormente sua ex-colônia, o Brasil, foram juntos responsáveis por
quase a metade dos 12 milhões de cativos transportados através do

Em respeito à história e à memória dos milhões de vítimas do tráfico
atlântico de escravos, viemos através desta carta aberta repudiar a
omissão do papel que tiveram esses lugares no comércio atlântico de
africanos escravizados. Convidamos todos aqueles que têm um
compromisso com a pesquisa do tráfico atlântico de escravos e da
escravidão a repudiar que essa história seja banalizada e apagada em
prol da exaltação de um passado português glorioso expresso na suposta
“beleza” arquitetural de tais sítios de morte e tragédia.

Ana Lucia Araujo, Howard University, Washington DC, Estados Unidos
Arlindo Manuel Caldeira, professor, Centro de História de Além-Mar,
Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Mariana Pinho Candido, Princeton University, Princeton, Estados Unidos
Michel Cahen, CNRS, Centre d’Études de l’Afrique, Bordeaux, França
Christine Chivallon, CNRS, Centre d’Études de l’Afrique, Bordeaux, França
Myriam Cottias, CNRS, Diretora do Centre International de recherches
sur les esclavages, Paris, França
Hebe Mattos, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Maurice Jackson, Georgetown University, Washington, Estados Unidos
Hendrik Kraay, University of Calgary, Canadá
Jane Landers, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Estados Unidos
Jean-Marc Masseaut, Cahiers Anneaux de la Mémoire, Nantes, França
Claudia Mosquera Rosero-Labbé, Universidad Nacional de Colombia,
Bogotá, Colombia
João José Reis, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Brasil
Anna Seiderer, Museu Real da África Central, Tervuren, Bélgica
Simão Souindola, Historiador, Luanda, Angola
Jean-Michel Mabeko-Tali, Howard University, Washington, Estados Unidos

TOC: Canadian Journal of African Studies 43:1

Canadian Journal of African Studies/Revue Canadienne des Études Africaines
Volume 43 Number 1 / Numéro 1 2009
Canadian Journal of African Studies
Revue Canadienne des Études Africaines

Volume 43 Number 1 / Numéro 1 2009
Special Issue / Numéro special

New Perspectives on Sexualities in Africa / Les sexualités africaines dans
leurs nouvelles perspectives

Contents / Sommaire

New Perspectives on Sexualities in Africa: Introduction Marc Epprecht 1

Les sexualités africaines dans leurs nouvelles perspectives: Introduction
Charles Gueboguo 8

The Widow, the Will, and Widow-inheritance in Kampala: Revisiting
Victimisation Arguments Stella Nyanzi, Margaret Emodu-Walakira, and
Wilberforce Serwaniko 12

Faith in God, But Not in Condoms: Churches and Competing Visions of HIV
Prevention in Namibia Nicole Rigillo 34

Sur les rétributions des pratiques homosexuelles à Bamako Christophe
Broqua 60

Deaf, Gay, HIV Positive, and Proud: Narrating an Alternative Identity in
Post-Apartheid South Africa Karin Willemse and Ruth Morgan with John
Meletse 84

“Mombasa Morans”: Embodiment, Sexual Morality, and Samburu Men in Kenya
George Paul Meiu

Research Note / Note de recherche Penser les “droits” des homosexuels/les
en Afrique: du sens et de la puissance de l’action associative militante
au Cameroun Charles Gueboguo 130

Review Articles / Études bibliographiques African Feminists on Sexualities
Signe Arnfred 152

Sexualities, Pleasure, and Politics in Southern Africa Bodil Folke
Frederiksen 161

Southern African Homosexualities and Denials Stephen O. Murray 168

Contre l’homophobie en Afrique Patrick Awondo 174 African Perspectives on
Female Circumcision Amy Kaler 179

Same-Sex Sexuality Issues in Some African Popular Media Unoma Azuah 185

Book Reviews / Comptes rendus Sévérin Cécile Abéga. Violence Sexuelle et
l’Etat au Cameroun. Sybille N. Nyeck 188

Julian B. Carter. The Heart of Whiteness: Normal Sexuality and Race in
America, 1880-1940. Barrington Walker 190

Catherine Cole, Takyiwaa Manuh and Stephan Miescher, eds. Africa After
Gender? Brigitte Bagnol 192

Cary Alan Johnson. Off the Map: How HIV/AIDS Programming Is Failing
Same-Sex Practicing People in Africa. Amanda Lock Swarr 195

Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale, Richmond Tiemoko and Paulina Makinwa-Adebusoye,
eds. Human Sexuality in Africa: Beyond Reproduction. Robert Morrell 198

Ruth Morgan and Saskia Wieringa, eds. Tommy Boys, Lesbian Men and
Ancestral Wives: Female Same-Sex Practices in Africa. Sam Bullington 201

Nicoli Nattrass. Mortal Combat: AIDS Denialism and the Struggle for
Antiretrovirals in South Africa. Mary Caesar 204

Stephanie Newell. The Forger’s Tale: The Search for Odeziaku. Taiwo
Oloruntoba-Oju 206

Alexander Rödlach. Witches, Westerners and HIV: AIDS and Cultures of Blame
in Africa. Allison Goebel 208

Tamara Shefer, Kopano Ratele, A. Strebel, N. Shabalala and R. Buikema,
eds. From Boys to Men: Social Constructions of Masculinity in Contemporary
Society. Mikki van Zyl 211

Works Cited / Ouvrages cités Contributors / Collaborateurs 215

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: