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Here is the first fully annotated edition of a landmark in early African American literature, the 1859 autobiography of Eliza Potter, a freeborn black woman who, as a hairdresser, was in a unique position to hear about, receive confidences from, and observe wealthy white women. Xiomara Santamarina provides an insightful introduction to this edition that includes newly discovered information about Potter, discusses the author's strong satirical voice and proud working-class status, and places the narrative in the context of 19th-century literature and history.
Hope for a Fragile State
“This book...avoids the political debates about Jean-Bertrand Aristide that dominate so many current writings about Haiti. Its focus is the society itself, the sources of difference, the origins of violence, and the possibility of change....The superb work done by the editors has established a high standard for future efforts.” (Terry Copp and John English from the Preface)
Haiti is a country in the midst of a political, economic, ecological, and social crisis. Violence has sabotaged attempts to establish the rule of law, and state infrastructure is notably absent in much of the country, leading to an overall climate of insecurity. Haiti: Hope for a Fragile State sheds light on the varied and complex roots of the current crisis, dispels misperceptions, and suggests that the situation in Haiti, despite evidence to the contrary, is not completely desperate. It brings together diverse perspectives on development, the military, history, NGOs, and politics and discusses the peace-building efforts of the past, suggesting ways to move forward to make Haiti a strong state.
Co-published with the Centre for International Governance Innovation
Haiti has long played an important role in global perception of the western hemisphere, but ideas about Haiti often appear paradoxical. Is it a land of tyranny and oppression or a beacon of freedom as site of the world's only successful slave revolution? A bastion of devilish practices or a devoutly religious island? Does its status as the second independent nation in the hemisphere give it special lessons to teach about postcolonialism, or is its main lesson one of failure?Haiti and the Americas brings together an interdisciplinary group of essays to examine the influence of Haiti throughout the hemisphere, to contextualize the ways that Haiti has been represented over time, and to look at Haiti's own cultural expressions in order to think about alternative ways of imagining its culture and history. Thinking about Haiti requires breaking through a thick layer of stereotypes. Haiti is often represented as the region's nadir of poverty, of political dysfunction, and of savagery. Contemporary media coverage fits very easily into the narrative of Haiti as a dependent nation, unable to govern or even fend for itself, a site of lawlessness that is in need of more powerful neighbors to take control. Essayists in Haiti and the Americas present a fuller picture developing approaches that can account for the complexity of Haitian history and culture.
The Making of an Atlantic Slave Society, 1775–1807
During the past ten years, political debates, legal disputes, and rising violence associated with the presence of Haitian migrants have flared up throughout the Caribbean basin in such places as Guadeloupe, the Dominican Republic, French Guiana, the Bahamas, and Jamaica. The contributors to this volume explore the common thread of prejudice against the Haitian diaspora as well as its potential role in the construction of national narratives from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective.
These essays, written by historians, anthropologists, sociologists, and Francophone studies scholars, examine how Haitians interact as an immigrant group with other parts of the Caribbean as well as how they are perceived and treated, particularly in terms of ethnicity and race, in their migration experience in the broader Caribbean.
By discussing the prevalence of anti-Haitianism throughout the region alongside the challenges Haitians face as immigrants, this volume completes the global view of the Haitian diaspora saga.
Clairvoyant who has lived in France for the past 24 years, expresses himself at times with a virulent violence that only an exile living in a perpetual nostalgia of his/her native land can understand. His words directed at the rulers of his native country is not always flattering, a euphemism not to say discourteous or accusatory. Poet with moral probity, he however slips into obsequiousness when expressing his anger that can easily be styled great immorality.
Why Foreign Aid Has Failed and What We Can Do About It
Even after years of receiving considerable foreign aid, Haiti remains an impoverished, tremendously fragile state. Over a span of ten years, the United States spent over $4 billion in aid to Haiti, yet the average Haitian still has to survive on one dollar a day. Why has assistance been so ineffectual, and what can we learn from Haiti's plight about foreign aid in general? Haiti in the Balance tackles those questions by analyzing nearly twenty years of Haitian history, politics, and foreign relations. Terry Buss and his colleagues at the National Academy on Public Administration found a general failure to reinforce the capacity of institutions at all levels of Haitian government. Building up that system of institutions appears to be a necessary precursor to a nation using foreign aid in the most effective manner. Such an effort demands improved security, a more professional (and less corrupt) bureaucracy, and eventually decentralization and perhaps even some privatization. Different levels of government must be willing to learn how best to work with one another: according to Buss, "Haitian governments seemed consumed by politics, rather than good governance." People still matter, and so does administration. Until we learn that lesson, even the most generous foreign aid will not fulfill its intent.
Radical Horizons, Conservative Constraints
The Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) reshaped the debates about slavery and freedom throughout the Atlantic world, accelerated the abolitionist movement, precipitated rebellions in neighboring territories, and intensified both repression and antislavery sentiment. The story of the birth of the world’s first independent black republic has since held an iconic fascination for a diverse array of writers, artists, and intellectuals throughout the Atlantic diaspora. Examining twentieth-century responses to the Haitian Revolution, Philip Kaisary offers a profound new reading of the representation of the Revolution by radicals and conservatives alike in primary texts that span English, French, and Spanish languages and that include poetry, drama, history, biography, fiction, and opera.
In a complementary focus on canonical works by Aimé Césaire, C. L. R. James, Edouard Glissant, and Alejo Carpentier in addition to the work of René Depestre, Langston Hughes, and Madison Smartt Bell, Kaisary argues that the Haitian Revolution generated an enduring cultural and ideological inheritance. He addresses critical understandings and fictional reinventions of the Revolution and thinks through how, and to what effect, authors of major diasporic texts have metamorphosed and appropriated this spectacular corner of black revolutionary history.
Slumbering Volcano in the Caribbean
The Haitian Revolution began in 1791 as a slave revolt on the French colonial island of Saint Domingue and ended thirteen years later with the founding of an independent black republic. Waves of French West Indians—slaves, white colonists, and free blacks—fled the upheaval and flooded southern U.S. ports—most notably New Orleans—bringing with them everything from French opera to voodoo. Alfred N. Hunt discusses the ways these immigrants affected southern agriculture, architecture, language, politics, medicine, religion, and the arts. He also considers how the events in Haiti influenced the American slavery-emancipation debate and spurred developments in black militancy and Pan-Africanism in the United States. By effecting the development of racial ideology in antebellum America, Hunt concludes, the Haitian Revolution was a major contributing factor to the attitudes that led to the Civil War.
How the Ghadar Movement Charted Global Radicalism and Attempted to Overthrow the British Empire
In The Haj to Utopia, Maia Ramnath tells the dramatic story of Ghadar, the Indian anticolonial movement that attempted overthrow of the British Empire. Founded by South Asian immigrants in California, Ghadar—which is translated as "mutiny"—quickly became a global presence in East Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and East Africa. Ramnath brings this epic struggle to life as she traces Ghadar’s origins to the Swadeshi Movement in Bengal, its establishment of headquarters in Berkeley, California, and its fostering by anarchists in London, Paris, and Berlin. Linking Britain’s declaration of war on Germany in 1914 to Ghadar’s declaration of war on Britain, Ramnath vividly recounts how 8,000 rebels were deployed from around the world to take up the battle in Hindustan. The Haj to Utopia demonstrates how far-flung freedom fighters managed to articulate a radical new world order out of seemingly contradictory ideas.
An American Library Association Notable Book and his first book for children, Erik Christian Haugaard’s Hakon of Rogen’s Saga is a remarkable novel that perfectly catches the mood of a harsh but heroic people. Set at the end of the Viking period, it tells of a young boy, Hakon, from the island of Rogen who, after his chieftain father is murdered, undertakes to reclaim his birthright from his treacherous uncle. The illustrations by renowned artists Leo and Diane Dillon make this captivating story come alive.