Haiti has been in the international news this past week, not due to anything of its own making. In the aftermath, historians of Haiti have been very active, taking advantage of the spotlight to get Haiti's story out there, in all its complexity. I've compiled a list of links to some responses to President Trump's... Continue Reading →
I’m looking forward to getting a chance to read this—scholarship which listens out for the voices from the archives of the enslaved is difficult but vital work.
Randy M. Browne’s Surviving Slavery in the British Caribbean was published in July 2017 by University of Pennsylvania Press.
Diana Paton (Edinburgh University) explains that “Randy M. Browne’s important study of the late slavery period in Berbice uses a rich, but surprisingly underused, set of sources—reports of the fiscals and protectors of slaves—to take a fresh approach to the study of Caribbean slave societies. Browne is attentive to the multiple dynamics of power and the complexity of the situation of many enslaved people.”
Vincent Brown (author of The Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery) writes: “Drawing upon a remarkable archive of protests by the enslaved, Randy M. Browne thoroughly reimagines the politics of slavery. Listening intently to his sources, he carefully teases out the slaves’ multifaceted struggle for survival in some of the most brutal conditions ever known. This illuminates the elemental nature of…
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As Black History Month kicked off in the UK this week, my twitter feed has featured some fascinating research and writing about Britain's black history. I'll update this page as the month progresses with links to articles, historians, writers etc which contribute to getting Britain's black history out in the public domain. Melissa Bennett,... Continue Reading →
On the 30th anniversary of Black History Month, Patrick Vernon talks about why he’s relaunching the campaign and explains how to nominate via 100 Great Black Britons relaunches for 2017 — Media Diversified
Black History Month in the United Kingdom runs during October. The 'official' website for the Month has information about the thousands of events planned across the UK. The 'features' tab of the website has many articles about aspects of black history, and opinion pieces. Click here for the Black History Month site. I also noticed... Continue Reading →
It's a century since indenture, the system which immediately replaced slavery in parts of the former British Empire, was ended. Dr Maria del Pilar Kaladeen has been working on a number of events to commemorate the centenary of the abolition of indenture in the British Empire—as she has termed it 'the quiet abolition.' Quiet because it's... Continue Reading →
Reviews in History has published a review by Dr Daniel Livesay of the Legacies of British Slave-Ownership website and database. The website was created by a team of researchers at University College London lead by Professor Catherine Hall, and has been live for a few years now. It details claims for compensation submitted by slave-owners at... Continue Reading →
Sometimes the best thing a book can do is make you feel guilty. That is certainly the case with the book I’m gisting today.
There were more enslaved women in the colonial port town of Bridgetown, found on the western edge of Barbados, than any other demographic group. So why do they receive such little attention? Marisa J. Fuentes, in her provocative bookDispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive (UPenn Press, 2016), argues that the traditional archive was constructed in such a way to inflict perpetual violence upon women. Until that narrative is disrupted, historians continue to partake in this original sin. Fuentes’s book is, she explains, an attempt at “redress” (12). Dispossessed Livesfollows the stories of a handful of women in the eighteenth century through the lens of documents that only peripherally mention them: a runaway named Jane, a mulatto brothel, an enslaved woman who was…
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Throughout September, the Age of Revolutions blog is publishing a series of blogposts in the “(In)forming Revolution Series: Information Networks in the Age of Revolutions.” Many of the posts will include Caribbean history and connections.
“We have entered the information age, and the future, it seems, will be determined by the media. In fact, some would claim that the modes of communication have replaced the modes of production as the driving force of the modern world. I would like to dispute that view. Whatever its value as prophecy, it will not work as history, because it conveys a specious sense of a break with the past. I would argue that every age was an age of information, each in its own way, and that communication systems have always shaped events.”
Robert Darnton, Emeritus Harvard University librarian and renowned historian of the French Enlightenment, delivered a lecture on the history of communication before a large crowd at the American Historical Association. Only…
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The latest edition of SX Salon contains a detailed and thoughtful review by Erin Zavitz of Dr Marlene Daut's 2015 book Tropics of Haiti: Race and the Literary History of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1789-1865. SX Salon is a literary platform which reviews and engages with Caribbean literature, broadly defined, and is part of... Continue Reading →
I stumbled across this fantastic collection of digitised manuscripts today. The Beinecke Collection is held by the Hamilton College Library. They have digitised hundreds of manuscripts from the 16th-19th century relating to the Lesser Antilles - the documents include maps, correspondence, legal documents and plantation reports. A document which particularly interests me is Grenada's Book... Continue Reading →
This 2011 blog post from the John J. Burns Library at Boston College describes two eighteenth-century letterbooks held in the Library’s Collection. The letterbooks belonged to Stephen Fuller, a British agent for Jamaica in the late eighteenth century. If you click on the hyperlink towards the end of the blogpost, you’ll go to the finding aid for the Williams Ethnological Collection, of which the Fuller letterbooks are a part. This Collection seems to hold some fascinating primary sources, relating to eighteenth and nineteenth century Jamaica. This would be a great place to start for anyone seeking a Jamaican research topic.
Stephen Fuller Letterbook, Box 27, Williams Ethnological Collection, MS.2009.030, John J. Burns Library, Boston College. These pages are transcriptions of letters regarding Fuller’s application for the position of British Agent for Jamaica.
Time consuming and laborious, hand-written letterbooks were employed to keep a record of correspondence before modern technologies such as photocopiers, scanners and computers became commonplace tools. As part of the Williams Ethnological Collection, the Burns Library holds two letterbooks that belonged to Stephen Fuller. Fuller (1716 – 1808) was the British Agent for the Caribbean island of Jamaica in the late 18th Century, which was under British colonial rule from 1655 until 1962. Fuller held this post from 1765 to 1795 and these letterbooks cover his correspondence during the years 1762-1773 and 1776-1784. Thus, the books include transcriptions of letters regarding Fuller’s application for the position in the months leading up to his appointment. Fuller cited…
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