Johnson: “Yet Lives and Fights”: Riots, Resistance, and Reconstruction | @AAIHS

In response to the recent election, #ADPhD is sharing reflections, short takes, and responses from scholars of slavery. To submit yours, click here.

On November 12, 2016, in light of the recent election, Jessica Marie Johnson published this essay on the African American Intellectual History Society blog:

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Johnson on Slavery, Sources, and Bills of Sale 

Jessica Marie Johnson is on a recent episode of the podcast Historically Black: Continue reading

2016-17 Howard University Slavery Seminar

Ana Lucia Araujo of Howard University has announced the program of the slavery seminar at Howard University.

Via Ana Lucia Araujo on Facebook:

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Johnson on Sex, Blood, and Belonging in the Early Republic | @AAIHS 

Jessica Marie Johnson writes: Continue reading


VIDEO: Araujo on Sites and Public Memory of the Atlantic Slave Trade | EHESS

Sites of Disembarkation and the Public Memory of the Atlantic Slave Trade with Ana Lucia Araujo (Department of History, Howard University)

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Johnson on Black Death and the Gallows in 18th Century Jamaica

“One evening, on a road in Jamaica, a soldier belonging to the “Mulatto Company” made his evening rounds. He came upon a black man in the woods. The soldier called for his attention. Receiving no answer, he killed him…”

Jessica Marie Johnson’s October post for the African American Intellectual Society Blog is on black death and this rare sketch (available at the Library Company of Philadelphia) done by Pierre Eugène du Simitière sometime in 1760s Jamaica. Read the rest: Black Death: Gore, Geographies and the Gallows in Jamaica

Reblogged from Diaspora Hypertext, the Blog


Johnson on Time, Space, and Memory at Whitney Plantation (Louisiana)

If your summer travels take you to Louisiana, be sure to visit Whitney Plantation in Wallace, Louisiana (about forty miles from New Orleans). See below for #ADPhD Founder and Curator Jessica Marie Johnson’s reflection on her visit last February….

Johnson on Time, Space, and Memory at Whitney Plantation

“Each statue represents a person. Most represent one of the thirty odd men and women who experienced slavery in Louisiana as a child and was interviewed by Works Progress Administration investigators in the 1930s as an elder. A handful represent a child who labored at the plantation site at some point in its history, a child with a story we now know.

Each child has a name. They have identities and histories. They are neither nameless nor voiceless, as so many subaltern historical subjects are, particularly in histories of slavery. They have already spoken. The statues and everything they represent also give lie to the presumption that the enslaved left no stories, no words worth mentioning or remembering. Or believing.

By choosing to engage the visitors through a historically African-American church filled with statues of enslaved children, Ibrahima Seck, the Director of Research, does more than memorialize the original interviewees and enslaved members of the Haydel/Whitney Plantation site. Seck and the Whitney staff force us to enter the plantation by walking past, watching, and being watched by enslaved themselves. The figures act as artifacts of and portals into the words and lives of residents of Louisiana who experienced slavery, who engaged Writers’ Project interviewers as experts in their own lives. Confronted with their familiars, we are challenged to take them seriously as the only experts that matter. As intellectuals in their own right and masters of their own words and worlds.

This is the visitor’s introduction to the Whitney Plantation and Slave Museum…”

Read the rest at AAIHS: Time, Space, and Memory at Whitney Plantation



EDITED: Campbell and Elbourne on Sex, Power and Slavery

SexPowerSlavery Cover

Gwyn Campbell and Elizabeth Elbourne, eds. Sex, Power, and Slavery. Ohio University Press, 2014.
via Ohio University Press:

Sexual exploitation was and is a critical feature of enslavement. Across many different societies, slaves were considered to own neither their bodies nor their children, even if many struggled to resist. At the same time, paradoxes abound: for example, in some societies to bear the children of a master was a potential route to manumission for some women. Sex, Power, and Slavery is the first history of slavery and bondage to take sexuality seriously.

Twenty-six authors from diverse scholarly backgrounds look at the vexed, traumatic intersections of the histories of slavery and of sexuality. They argue that such intersections mattered profoundly and, indeed, that slavery cannot be understood without adequate attention to sexuality. Sex, Power, and Slavery brings into conversation historians of the slave trade, art historians, and scholars of childhood and contemporary sex trafficking. The book merges work on the Atlantic world and the Indian Ocean world and enables rich comparisons and parallels between these diverse areas.


Online Now! “Death Rites as Birthrights in Atlantic New Orleans” by Me (@jmjafrx)

Diaspora Hypertext, the Blog (Archived)

VERY EXCITED to announce this….

My journal article, “Death Rites as Birthrights in Atlantic New Orleans: Kinship and Race in the Case of María Teresa v. Perine Dauphine,” is in the next issue of Slavery & Abolition…and it is LIVE online RIGHT NOW at Taylor & Francis.

Jessica Marie Johnson, “Death Rites as Birthrights in Atlantic New Orleans: Kinship and Race in the Case of María Teresa v. Perine Dauphine.” Slavery & Abolition (published online September 25, 2014): 1–24. doi:10.1080/0144039X.2014.943931.


“In 1789, a New Orleans free woman of colour named María Teresa initiated legal proceedings against Pelagia ‘Perine’ Dauphine dit Demasillier, another free woman of colour living in the city. More than a question of inheritance, the case of María Tereza, grifa libre v. Perine Demasillier, mulata libre was a dispute between two women over the meanings of and obligations to family in late eighteenth-century New Orleans. Their…

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EDITED: Araujo on the Politics of Remembering Slavery

"Hallelujah" Stone Sculpture

Ana Lucia Araujo, ed. Politics of Memory: Making Slavery Visible in the Public Space. Routledge, 2012.

via Routledge:

The public memory of slavery and the Atlantic slave trade, which some years ago could be observed especially in North America, has slowly emerged into a transnational phenomenon now encompassing Europe, Africa, and Latin America, and even Asia – allowing the populations of African descent, organized groups, governments, non-governmental organizations and societies in these different regions to individually and collectively update and reconstruct the slave past.

This edited volume examines the recent transnational emergence of the public memory of slavery, shedding light on the work of memory produced by groups of individuals who are descendants of slaves. The chapters in this book explore how the memory of the enslaved and slavers is shaped and displayed in the public space not only in the former slave societies but also in the regions that provided captives to the former American colonies and European metropoles. Through the analysis of exhibitions, museums, monuments, accounts, and public performances, the volume makes sense of the political stakes involved in the phenomenon of memorialization of slavery and the slave trade in the public sphere.


Featured Image Credit: “Hallelujah” Stone Sculpture near the site of the proposed U.S. Slavery Museum in Fredericksburg, VA / Robert A. Martin/AP via “Competing for History” | Upstart Magazine