Graham T. Nessler: The Politics of Racial Difference: The View from Revolutionary Hispaniola

As the Obama era nears its end, the politics of racial (and religious) difference seem to dominate the headlines. From the anti-Muslim violence and bigotry that have intensified following the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015, to the heightening of the affirmative action debate to the festering controversies over racially-charged criminal justice issues such as policing and mass incarceration, this appears to be a particularly polarized moment in America. As I finished my book this past fall, I often thought of parallels between these current events and my own area of historical expertise: the Haitian Revolution and the counterrevolutionary project that followed. Continue Reading Graham T. Nessler: The Politics of Racial Difference: The View from Revolutionary Hispaniola

Julia Gaffield: Dessalines Day, October 17

Dessalines’s abilities and successes have been “silenced” in order to cast him as a bad apple in the (now) celebrated Haitian Revolution that changed the course of modern history. This oversimplified version of Dessalines as a revolutionary and state leader ignores his political achievements and reduces the Haitian Revolution to a palatable and whitewashed event during the Age of Revolution. It mirrors a reluctance to study the years after the Declaration of Independence. The revolution did not produce a democratic republic based on universalist principles of freedom and equality. Continue Reading Julia Gaffield: Dessalines Day, October 17

Today in History: The Importance of February 7th in Haiti

The Haitian Coat of Arms As we all know, events in recent weeks have been difficult for the people of Haiti. Victories have been few, and all accounts suggest the nightmare is far from over. Today, though, is an important day in Haiti, a bright spot in their story for two reasons. Modern politics in… Continue Reading Today in History: The Importance of February 7th in Haiti

Harvey Neptune on Haiti’s history

Harvey Neptune, author of Caliban and the Yankees: Trinidad and the United States Occupation, offered some background on Haiti for the arts blog at Temple University (where he is an assistant professor of history). I wanted to share some of his comments on the country’s history as well as his challenge for lovers of freedom… Continue Reading Harvey Neptune on Haiti’s history