Hispaniola in Revolt

Critical Perspectives on Haiti and Santo Domingo

with Mitch Abidor, Virgilio Oscar Aràn, France Francois, Lionel Legros and Amaury Rodriguez

 

Come to participate with presentations and discussion on the revolutionary legacies of Hispaniola, the island shared by both Haiti and Santo Domingo.

Panelists:

MITCH ABIDOR has translated many of the key documents and accounts of the Haitian Revolution. His latest book is Down With the Law, an anthology of French individualist anarchist writings. He will discuss the contradictions of the Haitian revolution.

VIRGILIO OSCAR ARÁN is the National Field Home Care Organizer with the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Arán has participated in different forums to talk about the inhumane conditions Haitian immigrants suffer under in his native country, the Dominican Republic. He will discuss race and class in the Dominican Republic.

FRANCE FRANCOIS is the Founder and CEO of In Cultured Company, an organization that works on conflict resolution and reconciliation between Haitians and Dominicans. She is a multi-passionate writer, activist, and change agent transforming communities of color around the globe by redefining the way their stories are told and how we impact their lives. France will also reconsider the Haitian revolts of 1946 and 1986.

LIONEL LEGROS is a longtime NYC-based activist and educator originally from Haiti. He fought the Duvalier dictatorship and founded L’Heure Haitienne Radio in New York City in the 1960s. He will discuss the current Haitian revolt.

Moderator: AMAURY RODRIGUEZ is a Dominican-born translator and independent researcher. He is a frequent contributor to the Marxists Internet Archives (MIA) and co-author, with Raj Chetty, of Dominican Black Studies, a special issue of The Black Scholar journal.

All tickets are sliding scale. No one is turned away for inability to pay.

Styron’s Confessions of Nat Turner

William Styron’s historical novel The Confessions of Nat Turner won the Pulitzer Prize in 1968. The novel made the world conscious of the slave revolt in Virginia led by Turner in 1831. Styron was a white writer from Virginia. In response to the success of Styron’s novel, an anthology of African-American criticism was published by Beacon Press featuring the work 10 different critics. In addition to the criticism of Styron there were a number of African-American writers who were encouraged and praised Styron for his work, most notably James Baldwin. Baldwin predicted that the history of the rebellion would continue to be written for years. This remains true today.

This May, our Thursday literature group will read Styron’s novel, the Beacon Press anthology, William Styron’s Nat Turner: Ten Black Writers Respond, as well as the essay Baldwin wrote in defense of Styron. Many profound questions concerning race, class, the rendering of historical presentation, claims on sectors of our shared history, etc. are raised in the novel and in the anthology. We will discuss as many of these questions as possible including having a careful read of Baldwin’s essay on the work. This class is also part of The MEP noting this being a half-century since the pivotal year of 1968.

THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES READING GROUP which has grown from the enthusiastic call for the need of greater understanding of the long history of the peoples of North America and other continents of the world who were of those continents before and remain after the European colonists came to settle and bring this capitalist relations to every corner of the globe. Our group began following a stirring presentation by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz September of 2014 where she introduced An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States.