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ESSAY: Price on “Violence and Hope in a Space of Death: Paramaribo” | Common-place (2003)

  “About 1710, J. D. Herlein, a Dutch visitor to Paramaribo, reported that a runaway slave from the town had been recaptured by the authorities. His sentence, which the court intended “to serve as an example to others,” was “to be quartered alive, and the pieces thrown in the River.” Herlein witnessed the execution: “He was lain on the ground, his head on a long … Continue reading ESSAY: Price on “Violence and Hope in a Space of Death: Paramaribo” | Common-place (2003)

Rael on Ferguson, Respectability Politics, and the Early Republic

Six months after the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, it is worth revisiting scholars’ reflections on what his death, extrajudicial killings of people of African descent, and histories of slavery and diaspora have in common. Last August, Patrick Rael placed present-day re-articulations of respectability politics against a long history of black political rhetoric, beginning with antebellum free black activists’ debates about moral uplift … Continue reading Rael on Ferguson, Respectability Politics, and the Early Republic

Childs on Doing African Diaspora History as a Latin Americanist

In “Between Latin America and the African Diaspora?” Greg Childs discusses researching Latin America’s black history and the conflicts that can arise: Perhaps because I was indeed sitting right beside him the man did not see me. Or maybe he saw me but genuinely had no clue what kind of work I did or what to make of it or how to understand the way … Continue reading Childs on Doing African Diaspora History as a Latin Americanist

Foner on the Underground Railroad (NYTimes.com)

Eric Foner on revisiting histories of the Underground Railroad: “That view largely held among scholars until 1961, when the historian Larry Gara published “The Liberty Line,” a slashing revisionist study that dismissed the Underground Railroad as a myth and argued that most fugitive slaves escaped at their own initiative, with little help from organized abolitionists. Scholarship on the topic all but dried up, as historians … Continue reading Foner on the Underground Railroad (NYTimes.com)

O’Malley on Balancing the Empirical and the Humane in Slave Trade Studies

George E. O’Malley discusses balancing quantitative analyses of slavery with understanding slaves’ experiences of bondage: “In learning about the cultures enslaved people created in various American regions, I had become convinced that historians needed to ground such research in a better understanding of the networks that delivered enslaved people to the Americas. After all, where in Africa a captive was from would profoundly shape the … Continue reading O’Malley on Balancing the Empirical and the Humane in Slave Trade Studies