Shelley Miller's Sugar Mural Wealth of some and ruin of others

Reccomended Reading

This is an extremely abridged list. Think of it as a very incomplete jumping off point for further reading, with a lot of gaps. Feel free to suggest material to add. I’ll add more over the course of the semester.

Responses to Gilroy

Arroyo, Jossianna and Elizabeth A Marchant. “Introduction to Special Issue: Comparative Perspectives on the Black Atlantic.” Comparative Literature Studies 49.2 (2012).

Chrisman, Laura. “Journeying to death: Paul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic.” Postcolonial Contraventions: Cultural Readings of Race, Imperialism, and Transnationalism. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003. 73 – 88

Fernandes,Sujatha. Close to the Edge: In Search of the Global Hip Hop Generation.  Verso, 2011

Smyth, Heather. “The Black Atlantic Meets the Black Pacific Multimodality in Kamau Brathwaite and Wayde Compton” Callaloo 37.2 (Spring 2014)

Soto, Isabel. “’I Knew that Spain Once Belonged to the Moors’: Langston Hughes, Race, and the Spanish Civil War.” Research in African Literatures 45.3 (Fall 2014)

Tinsley, Omise’eke Natasha “Black Atlantic, Queer Atlantic: Queer Imaginings of the Middle Passage.” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 14.2-3 (2008).

NB: Of course Gilroy has written more than just The Black Atlantic. I strongly encourage you to look at more of is work. There Ain’t No Black In the Union Jack: The Cultural Politics of Race and Nation (1987) and Darker Than Blue: On The Moral Economies of Black Atlantic Culture (2010) are good starting places.

Middle Passage 

Berlin, Ira. Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999.

Hartman, Saidiya. Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (not online, but it’s a slim volume and easily available)

Video: Hartman, Saidiya. “Human Rights and the Humanities” National Humanities Center National Humanities Center. March 20 2014.

Rediker, Marcus. The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom (Verso 2012).

  • Buba, Tony (director). Ghosts of the Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels. University of Pittsburg, 2014. (This film is a continuation of Rediker’s research from his 2012 book.
  • You can hear him discuss both these works in his 2013 Debra L. Lee Lecture on Slavery and Justice at Brown University’s Center for the study of Slavery and Justice: “The African Origins of the Amistad Rebellion”

Ships of Bondage and the Fight for Freedom (brochure for exhibit at Iziko Museum in South Africa), curated by the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University.

  • This exhibit on slave insurrections focuses on three vessels, including The Amistad, and was organized by the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University. For more on the exhibit, see the CSSJ’s site.

Smallwood, Stephanie. Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008

Other Geographies: Red Atlantic, New England, and Africa

Kea, Ray A. A Cultural and Social History of Ghana from the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Century: The Gold Coast in the Age of Trans-Atlantic Trade. 2 Volumes.  Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2012.

——.Settlement, Trade, and Polities in the Seventeenth Century Gold Coast. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981.

Lepore, Jill. The Name of War: King Philip’s War and the Origins of American Identity. New York: Vintage, 1999.

  • This includes the reference from our discussion of Red Atlantic on the capture and selling of members from New England tribal nations throughout the Atlantic, including one mention of ship taking them to ports in Africa.

Melish, Joanne Pope. Disowning SlaveryGradual Emancipation and “Race” in New England, 1780-1860. Ithaca; Cornell University Press, 2000.

  • This is still probably the best book on New England slavery and its repercussions. If you are interested in this topic, there’s a resource list here.

Perbi, Akousa A. A History of Indigenous Slavery in Ghana: From the 15th to the 19th Century.  Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2004.

Weaver, Jace. The Red Atlantic American Indigenes and the Making of the Modern World, 1000-1927. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2014.

Other Works by or on James and Haiti

Bogues, Anthony. “The Dual Haitian Revolution and the Making of Freedom in Modernity.” Human Rights From A Third World Perspective: Critique, History, and International Law. Edited by José-​Manuel Barreto. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013. 208 – 236

———————-. Caliban’s Freedom: The Early Political Thought of CLR James. London: Pluto Press, 1997,

James, C.L.R. You should read much more of his work, which is wide-ranging and of which Black Jacobins is just a small piece. But since that is our focus for this course, consider looking into these two plays, now more easily available:

———————-.The Black Jacobins (1967)

———————-.Toussaint Louverture: The Story of the Only Successful Slave Revolt in History; A Play in Three Acts (1934).

His page on the Marxist Internet Archive is also a good place to browse

Buck-Morss, Susan. Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History. Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009

Online Exhibit The Other Revolution (John Carter Brown Library)

Related to Mary Prince

Aljoe, Nicole. “‘Going to Law’: Legal Discourse and Testimony in Early West Indian Slave Narratives.” Early American Literature 46.2 (2011): 351-381

Razi, Alpen. “Captive Petitions: The Function of Slave Dialect in the Fictional and Transcriptional Texts of Susanna Strickland Moodie.” (Forthcoming Article: This is pending author permission)

Rintoul, Suzanne. “‘My Poor Mistress’: Marital Cruelty in The History of Mary Prince.’ ESC: English Studies in Canada 37.3-4 (Sept/Dec 2011): 41-60

Related to Arabic Atlantic

Ayuba Suleiman Diallo Portrait

Wiliam Hoare of Bath (1701-1773). Portrait of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo . Via Wikimedia Commons

Said. The Autobiography of Nicholas Said, A Native of Bournou, Eastern Soudan, Central Africa (1873):

Traveling Exhibit on Diallo (National Portrait Gallery, London)

Diallo profile in Slave Voyages Database

Public Memory/Memorials

Araujo, Ana Lucia. “Welcome to the Diaspora: Slave Trade Heritage Tourism and the Public Memory of Slavery.” Ethnologies 32.2 (2010): 145-178

Beyond Sweetness Conference (Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice and John Carter Brown Library, Brown University, 2013)

The link above leads to videos of the entire conference. I highly recommend Evelyn Hu-DeHart (History and Ethnic Studies, Brown University), “Sugar and Coolies: The Use of Chinese Contract Laborers on the Sugar Plantations of Nineteenth-Century Cuba” in Session 7 and all Session 8: Legacies

Conversation with Ann Chinn, founder of the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, Inc. (May 8 2014, Brown University)

Shelley Miller’s Sugar Murals: Velocity, Cargo, Stained, Wealth of Some and Ruin of Others

Shelley Miller's Sugar Mural Wealth of some and ruin of others

Miller, Shelly. Wealth of Some and Ruin of Others Salvador, Brazil, 2009. Image from

18th and 19th-Century Texts by Women

Anon. The Woman of Colour (novel, 1808)

Letters of Elizabeth Hart Thwaites (1772-1833) and Anne Hart Gilbert (1773-1834)

Eldridge, Eleanor. Memoirs of Elleanor Eldridge (1838)

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