Peter James Hudson reviews three recent history of slavery and capitalism texts to place them in conversation with radical black scholarship and political thought, past and present:
The Winter 2013 Radical History Review is a special issue: “Haitian Lives/Global Perspectives.”
From the introduction:
As several of the essays in this issue explain, in the years since Michel-Rolph Trouillot famously showed that the Haitian Revolution was “unthinkable” and its his- tory relegated to silence, the country’s history has gone from “hidden” and “unknow- able” to widely studied in the United States and beyond.2 The 2010 earthquake did stimulate a burst of interest in Haiti and its past among both scholars and the general public abroad. As sudden as this awakening may have seemed, however, to understand Haiti better people looked to a body of research, writing, and reflection by Haiti specialists that had been decades in the making. Yet, a great deal of mis- information, and in fact disinformation, persists alongside Haiti’s new cachet, and the perspectives of Haitians themselves are chronically absent from the discussion.
Table of Contents:
Amy Chazkel, Melina Pappademos, and Karen Sotiropoulos. “Editor’s Introduction: Haitian Lives/Global Perspectives.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 1–9.
Gary Wilder. “Telling Histories: A Conversation with Laurent Dubois and Greg Grandin.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 11–25.
April Mayes, Yolanda C. Martín, Carlos Ulises Decena, Kiran Jayaram, and Yveline Alexis. “Transnational Hispaniola: Toward New Paradigms in Haitian and Dominican Studies.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 26–32.
Simon R. Doubleday. “History After the Earthquake: Shifting the Axis of Teaching.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 33–44.
Paul Cheney. “A Colonial Cul De Sac Plantation Life in Wartime Saint-Domingue, 1775 – 1782.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter, 2013): 45–64.
Lorelle D. Semley. “To Live and Die, Free and French Toussaint Louverture’s 1801 Constitution and the Original Challenge of Black Citizenship.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 65–90.
Peter James Hudson. “The National City Bank of New York and Haiti, 1909 – 1922.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 91–114.
Jana K. Lipman. “‘The Fish Trusts the Water, and It Is in the Water That It Is Cooked’ The Caribbean Origins of the Krome Detention Center.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 115–141.
A. Naomi Paik. “Carceral Quarantine at Guantánamo Legacies of US Imprisonment of Haitian Refugees, 1991 – 1994.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 142–168.
Leah Gordon. “Kanaval Vodou, Politics, and Revolution in the Streets of Haiti.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 169–183.
Jerry Philogene. “Meditations on Traveling Diasporically: Jean-Ulrick Désert and Negerhosen2000.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 184–193.
David Geggus. “Haiti and Its Revolution: Four Recent Books.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 195–202.
Matthew J. Smith. “Haiti from the Outside In: A Review of Recent Literature.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 203–211.
Toussaint Losier. “Jean Anil Louis-Juste, Prezan!” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 213–217.
Featured Image Credit: “Je renais de mes cendres” posted at the Public Archive: “…The reverse bears the inscription Les armoiries du Roi Henry Christophe, 1767-1820, Bâtisseur de La Citadelle (The arms of King Henry Christophe, 1767-1820, Builder of the Citadel). In the middle is the king’s coat of arms, a crowned phoenix rising from the flames, with stars in the firmament and the words, Je renais de mes cendres. (I am reborn from my ashes.)…”
“Given the incredible loss of life as a result of the January 12, 2010 earthquake in the Republic of Haiti, it may appear frivolous to turn to history – but history, too, has been a casualty of this disaster. In the reporting on the earthquake and the relief operations, Haiti’s history has been contorted by cliché, smudged by misrepresentation, or not represented at all. The country and its citizens have been rendered history-less, and its historic significance in the region and the world made invisible….
The Public Archive will serve as an accessible clearinghouse of historical and archival sources for the Vanderbilt University community and the public at large. It will draw on the expertise of the Vanderbilt faculty to gather and collate information available, if not always accessible, to the general public. It will link to online historical and archival sources, contemporary journalism, and bibliographies, and will be updated according to current developments.”
Carl H. Nightingale. “Before Race Mattered: Geographies of the Color Line in Early Colonial Madras and New York.” The American Historical Review 113, no. 1 (February 1, 2008): 48-71.
By the 1710s, British authorities at both Madras, India, and New York City had made, by fits and starts, more than a half-century of progress in their efforts to increase their power over people they categorized as “black.” Yet the residential color lines they drew in these two cities contrasted sharply. In Madras, known today as Chennai, stout stone walls separated a privileged European neighborhood from the city’s Asian districts. Similar arrangements existed in other colonial cities in the Eastern Hemisphere, but Madras was the first place in world history to officially designate its two sections by color: “White Town” and “Black Town.” In New York, by contrast, a small part of town outside the city wall sometimes called the “negro lands” was dismantled, along with the wall itself. In a pattern that New Yorkers would scarcely recognize today, but which was common among slave-importing cities of the Atlantic world, authorities forced black slaves to live inside the households of whites, especially the wealthiest ones. There, the politics of domestic life settled further questions of color and space.
More on black geographies:
Katherine Mckittrick and Clyde Woods, eds. Black Geographies and the Politics of Place. Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2007.
1. “No One Knows the Mysteries at the Bottom of the Ocean”
Katherine McKittrick; Clyde Woods
2. Towards African Diaspora Citizenship: Politicizing an Existing Global Geography
Carole Boyce Davies & Babacar M’Bow
3. “Sittin’ on Top of the World”: The Challenges of Blues and Hip Hop Geography
4. Memories of Africville: Urban Renewal, Reparations, and the Africadian DiasporaAngel David Nieves
5. “Freedom Is a Secret”
6. Henry Box Brown, an International Fugitive: Slavery, Resistance, and Imperialism
Suzette A. Spencer
7. “A Realm of Monuments and Water”: Lorde-ian Erotics and Shange’s African Diaspora Cosmopolitanism
Kimberly N. Ruffin
8. “The Lost Tribe of a Lost Tribe”: Black British Columbia and the Poetics of Space
Peter James Hudson
9. Deportable or Admissible: Black Women and the Space of “Removal”
10. Mapping Black Atlantic Performance Geographies: From Slave Ship to Ghetto
Sonjah Stanley Niaah
11. Urban Revolutions and the Spaces of Black Radicalism
James A. Tyner
12. Homopoetics: Queer Space and the Black Queer Diaspora
Letter from the Rastafari Community of Shashamane to UN Secretary General
Kofi Annan, June 27, 2001.
Stephanie M. H. Camp. Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women and Everyday Resistance in the Plantation South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Press, 2004.