Undoing Empire: Race and Nation in the Mulatto Caribbean

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2009-11-08 19:20Z by Steven

Undoing Empire: Race and Nation in the Mulatto Caribbean

University of Minnesota Press
336 pages, 27 halftones
5 7/8 x 9
Paper ISBN: 0-8166-3574-9
Paper ISBN-13: 978-0-8166-3574-0
Cloth ISBN: 0-8166-3573-0
Cloth ISBN-13: 978-0-8166-3573-3

José F. Buscaglia-Salgado, Professor and Chair of Cultures, Societies and Global Studies
Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts

A revelatory account that places mulatto experience at the center of Caribbean history.

This ambitious book brings to light the story of what José F. Buscaglia-Salgado terms mulataje-the ways Caribbean aesthetics offer the possibility of the ultimate erasure of racial difference. Undoing Empire gives a broad panorama stretching from the complex politics of medieval Iberian societies to the beginning of direct U.S. hegemony in the Caribbean at the end of the nineteenth century.

Buscaglia-Salgado begins with an examination of Washington Irving‘s “American Columbiad” as an act of historical and territorial plundering. He then traces the roots of mulatto society to the pre-1492 Iberian world, not only finding a connection between the Moors of “Old Spain” and the morenos-the blacks and mulattos of the New World-but also offering a profound critique of creole and imperial discourses. Buscaglia-Salgado reads the pursuit and contestation of what he terms the European Ideal in colonial texts, architecture, and paintings; then identifies the mulatto movement of “undoing” the Ideal in the wars that shook the nineteenth-century Caribbean from Haiti to Cuba, arguing that certain projects of national liberation have moved contrary to the historical claims to freedom in the mulatto world.

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Ellen Craft: A New American Opera

Posted in Arts, History, Live Events, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2009-11-08 16:48Z by Steven

Ellen Craft: A New American Opera

8th Annual New York City International Fringe Festival
2004-08-13 through 2004-08-29

Lyrics by Sherry Boone
Music: Sean Jeremy Palmer
Book: Sherry Boone and Sean Jeremy Palmer

Ellen Craft: A New American Opera is based on true events of a half -white, half-black womans harrowing escape from slavery disguised as a white man. Ellen‘s fiery story of revenge, love, forgiveness and redemption was recognized as Best Ensemble Performance at the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival. Ellen Craft will be performed on both the Music Theatre and Operatic Stages of the world.

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Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom or The Escape of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery

Posted in Autobiography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, Slavery, United States on 2009-11-08 04:41Z by Steven

Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom or The Escape of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery

Louisiana State University Press
Originally Published: 1860
Published by LSU Press: 1999
120 pages
Trim: 6 x 9
Illustrations: 5 halftones
ISBN-13: 978-0-8071-2320-1 Paper

William Craft

With a Foreword and Biographical Essay by

Richard J. M. Blackett,  Andrew Jackson Professor of History
Vanderbilt University

Husband and wife William and Ellen Craft’s [her mother was a slave and her father was her mother’s owner.] break from slavery in 1848 was perhaps the most extraordinary in American history. Numerous newspaper reports in the United States and abroad told of how the two—fair-skinned Ellen disguised as a white slave master and William posing as her servant—negotiated heart-pounding brushes with discovery while fleeing Macon, Georgia, for Philadelphia and eventually Boston. No account, though, conveyed the ingenuity, daring, good fortune, and love that characterized their flight for freedom better than the couple’s own version, published in 1860, a remarkable authorial accomplishment only twelve years beyond illiteracy. Now their stirring first-person narrative and Richard Blackett’s excellent interpretive pieces are brought together in one volume to tell the complete story of the Crafts.

Ellen Craft

Summary by Monique Pierce of Documenting The South:

Published in 1860, shortly before the start of the Civil War, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom is the narrative of William and Ellen Craft‘s escape from slavery. Both were born and grew up in Georgia, and they lived in Macon prior to their escape. In December 1848 they devised a plan in which Ellen Craft, who was very light- skinned, would dress as a man and pretend to be a rheumatic seeking better treatment in Philadelphia. William was to accompany her and act as her slave. Relying exclusively on means of public transportation, including trains and steamers, they made their way to Savannah, then to Charleston, Wilmington, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia, where they arrived on Christmas Day. They then relocated to Boston and sailed for England after the Fugitive Slave Law enabled slave hunters to pursue them even in free states. At the time this work was published, they were living in England with their sons. The narrative includes many anecdotes about slavery and freedom for Blacks and discusses how they were treated in both the South and the North.

Read the entire book in HTML format here.  You may also obtain it here.

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