Blackburn’s Obituary for Stuart Hall

Robin Blackburn’s obituary for Stuart Hall (via

Continue reading “Blackburn’s Obituary for Stuart Hall”

2012 Frederick Douglass Book Prize Finalists Announced

The finalists for the 14th Annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize have been announced.

From the announcement:

Robin Blackburn for The American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights (Verso Books)

In The American Crucible, Robin Blackburn has provided one of the most commanding and wide-ranging examinations of Atlantic abolitionism in years.  In an era of specialization, Blackburn thinks big, connecting emancipation moments through both time and space. Blackburn’s work compels scholars to think anew about abolitionism’s relevance to global modernity.

R. Blakeslee Gilpin for John Brown Still Lives: America’s Long Reckoning with Violence, Equality, and Change (University of North Carolina Press)

Finding new scholarly perspectives on John Brown is no easy task but R. Blakeslee Gilpin’s engaging and ramifying book does just that by examining the myriad ways that Americans have used Brown’s memory since the Civil War era. John Brown Still Lives! offers a profound meditation on the long-running debate over slavery, freedom and the struggle for racial justice in American hearts and minds.

Carla L. Peterson for Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in
Nineteenth-Century New York City (Yale University Press)

Carla Peterson’s Black Gotham brilliantly reconstructs her own family’s elusive past as a window unto free black life in 19th century New York. Part detective tale, part cultural history, Peterson’s book recaptures hidden stories of black abolitionism, economic uplift, Civil War heroism, and turn-of-the-century civil rights movements. By painstakingly reconstructing a segment of black New York, Peterson highlights a vibrant cast of characters who constantly redefined the meaning of both American and African American freedom.

James H. Sweet for Domingos Álvares, African Healing, and the Intellectual
History of the Atlantic World (University of North Carolina Press)

James Sweet’s thoughtful and moving book about African healer Domingos Alvares provides much more than a biographical portrait of a remarkable 18th century man. Rather, Sweet’s imaginative reconstruction of Alvares’ life in and out of bondage places African worldviews at the center of Atlantic history. Domingos Alvares also makes a compelling case for redefining the intellectual history of Atlantic society from Africans’ perspectives.

Continue reading “2012 Frederick Douglass Book Prize Finalists Announced”

Blackburn on Haiti, Slavery and the Age of Democratic Revolution

Click Image for Credit
Click Image for Credit

Blackburn, Robin. “Haiti, Slavery, and the Age of the Democratic Revolution.” William & Mary Quarterly 63 (October 2006): 643-674.

First paragraph steal:

“IN the sequence of revolutions that remade the Atlantic world from 1776 to 1825, the Haitian Revolution is rarely given its due, yet without it there is much that cannot be accounted for. The revolutions—American, French, Haitian, and Spanish-American—should be seen as interconnected, with each helping to radicalize the next. The American Revolution launched an idea of popular sovereignty that, together with the cost of the war, helped to provoke the downfall of the French monarchy. The French Revolution, dramatic as was its influence on the Old World, also became a fundamental event in the New World because it was eventually to challenge slavery as well as royal power. This challenge did not come from the French National Constituent Assembly’s resounding “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizens 1789,” since neither the assembly nor its successor, the National Convention, moved on its own initiative to confront slavery in the French plantation colonies. Indeed the issue was not to be addressed for another five years, by which time the French Caribbean colonies were engulfed in slave revolts and threatened by British occupation.”

Available via History Cooperative (sub only)