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“The Cradle of Hope:” African Americans, Haitian Sovereignty, and the Birth of Black Internationalism

Join the Department of History’s own Leslie Alexander for this OHC Work-in-Progress talk:

“The Cradle of Hope:” African Americans, Haitian Sovereignty, and the Birth of Black Internationalism

Friday, February 15, 2019
Noon–1:30 p.m.
OHC Conference Room (159 PLC)

The Works-in-Progress series features talks by humanities faculty and graduate students on their current research or recently published books. All talks take place on Fridays at noon in the OHC Conference Room, 159 PLC. These are free and open to the public. Brown-bag lunches are welcome. Seating is limited, so early arrival is recommended.

Leslie Alexander is a specialist in early African American and African Diaspora history. Her research focuses on late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Black culture, political consciousness, and resistance movements. A scholar of enslaved and free Black communities, her first monograph, entitled African or American?: Black Identity and Political Activism in New York City, 1784-1861, explores Black culture, identity, and political activism during the early national and antebellum eras.

Dr. Alexander’s current research project, “The Cradle of Hope: African American Internationalism in the Nineteenth Century,” is an exploration of early African American foreign policy. In particular, it examines how Black activists became involved in international movements for racial and social justice and lobbied the United States government for changes in its policies towards African and African diasporic nations. Using Haiti as an illustrative example of early African American internationalism, this project charts the changing views Black leaders held about Haiti over the course of the nineteenth century and into the early twentieth century. More specifically, it examines how and why the Haitian Revolution inspired Black activists, why Black leaders in the United States fought relentlessly to protect and defend Haitian independence, and how they pressured the U.S. government to grant Haiti diplomatic recognition.