Afro-American History, Part 3 of 3: (1) Commentary on William Wells Brown; (2) Haiti

John Sekora outlines the life and work of the first black American man of letters, William Wells Brown, the nineteenth-century novelist, historian, physician, and journalist. Sekora’s comments begin and conclude this episode of Soundings and continue the overview he began in the program for February 16, 1986 (Episode 281).

In the middle segment [5:25 to 24:30], Michel-Rolph Trouillot argues that Haiti is best understood in light of its struggle for political liberty at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth century. Haiti was unique among Caribbean nations because of its internal abolition of slavery, which Trouillot says has historical and continuing racial implications for African Americans throughout the New World.

At the time of this recording, Sekora, a Fellow at the National Humanities Center (1982-83), was professor of English at North Carolina Central University.

Trouillot, a Fellow at the National Humanities Center (1985-86), was professor of anthropology at Duke University.

This edition of Soundings was conducted by Wayne J. Pond.

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