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tv   Book Discussion on Paul Robeson and Confronting Black Jacobins  CSPAN  July 1, 2016 5:45pm-7:01pm EDT

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your summer reading list? send us your choice is and you can post on our facebook page, or send an e-mail to booktv at >> this will not just be about confronting blacks but also the revolutionary life of paul robeson with this guy, ed gerald horne is amazing as a scholar and historian please give a round of applause to welcome him. [applause]
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>> all night all day we will be fighting for freddie grey. all night. all day. we will be fighting for freddie grey. let me say first of all, it is a daughter and a pleasure to be back here i was here some months ago to introduce the new books i have written and i consider it to be quite an honor they have invited me back again so those who may not be familiar of freddie grey, a young black man who had a fatal encounter with the police in the city of baltimore and he is in a long list of such young black people with fatal encounters with the
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authorities including cleveland and new york and texas and hopefully when i will be talking about this evening is to say in the event that spee is the fear -- the period of the haitian revolution in this will shed some light i would hope on why is north america we have had a spectacular rise and surge of police killings and misdeeds upon black people in particular. first of all, with regard to the haitian revolution 179-1324 that we are even a successful revolt, he cannot
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begin to understand the haitian revolution unless one sees this spectacular event in some ways as a sequel to the revolts are british rule of arab-americans in 1776 leading to the formation of the slave holding republic still known as the united states of america. that is to say as i argued in my book contrary to the broadway musical such as hamilton and contrary to what is routinely taught in schools from the atlantic's through the pacific the foundation of the united states of america took place in no small measure because it was against the abolitionist in london that
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the case seemed to be suggesting that slave property that even than in north america was worth millions mate be headed for the dustbin of history that i explained in my book in some detail and as the state now known as zimbabwe revolted against british rule in 65 because they thought they were moving towards decolonization and the one-person one-vote leaving to african majority rule they tried to continue their regime by setting up the new state of rhodesia and at the time they said there were walking in the footsteps of 1776 to say that was an attempt to escape the logic of abolition of slavery in
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southern africa was an attempt to escape the logic of colonization of one person one vote so therefore you cannot begin to understand the travails and tribulations experienced by people of african descent of north america unless you understand from the orders of magnitude they fought against the formation day sided with london in the attempt to crush the slaveholders rebellion just like the africans did not accept the establishment of the new states of rhodesia and when you fight a war and lose you can expect to be pulverized unless and and tell you can turn the tables against your oppressors in one way we could turn the tables was through the
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haitian revolution of 1791 through 18 '04 that follows quickly upon the footsteps of the formation of the u.s. constitution in the first convening of congress that it was the of reputation of this new slave holding republic which is why start the book with president george washington discussing his reservations of the haitian revolution and in any case what happened is is the africans could succeed against the french military one of the most powerful examples of valor and fortitude known to history up through this point to establish the independent black republic in 1904. but as she might have
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surmised there was great consternation in the republics about the success and if in the victory of the haitian revolution you may recall if you look at many major slave revolts rocking north america through the circuit 1800 from south carolina where from 1831 in virginia, they all have the fingerprints of haiti all over them but the revolt takes place at the same time as the haitian revolution is unfolding in to recall charleston's south carolina was a seafarer and reportedly part of the game and ambition was to not only revolts against slavery but
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escaped with formerly enslaved people able to ceylon to the island that was ruled by africans now what is interesting about many of these revolts they're not like others that are taking place in the hemisphere with which there is inspiration by the haitian revolutionaries or direct instigation the fact the argument that i make in this book is that the haitian revolution reminds me of the crisis of the entire system that can only be resolved so if you try to understand why slavery collapsed in north america you should not only look to the four corners of arab-americans also into haiti and as a said
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previously also to the inspiration of the british abolitionists in london what is interesting as well is the u.s. slave holding republic did not accept the haitian revolution. you may recall in the 1820s there was a movement of the free negro population including those from baltimore to haiti they were moving to haiti not only to escape persecution that they routinely encountered in north america, but also intending to bolster and fortified haiti as the independent black republic to playing a key role to keep the independent republic afloat also wants is keeping they did not
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forsake for forget their brothers and sisters here in north america although in the abolition societies on the island were very much involved to help stir up antislavery sentiment in the united states of america itself leading to the second half of the story which is the united states hopes to instigate the revolutionary island of haiti because it is now occupied by two states, haiti in the dominican republic it was in 1844 the u.s. secretary of state calhoun from slave holding south carolina helped to engineer one of the first covert actions a foreign policy to help fund a secession of splits
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leading to the formation of the dominican republic with persistent conflict between these two states with haiti on one side and the dominican republic on the other and in fact, in one of their rare instances of history of colonialism, the dominican republic from the united states civil war was about to be ignited and invites the former colonial power back to the island to read colonize the dominican republic to say most nations struggled against colonialism. but because of the blacks scare and the fear of haitian rule and domination those on the eastern side invited them to come back and take over.
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but this pernicious even was overtaken by the onset of the u.s. civil war in the united states which did not recognize haiti finally found out there real friends and enemies because spanish cuba was leaning toward diplomatic relations with the confederate states of america is of the abolitionists were barely able to prevent london from lending diplomatic support to the confederate states of america but it was haiti that stood square in favor of the united states government as a pod to the death against the slave holding confederate states of america and by the way april 152016 marks the onset of the emancipation of the enslaves in neighboring washington d.c. which is a
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market as we speak but no good deed goes unpunished and as a result of haiti helping to support the united states of america during its hour of need need, that led to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of u.s. nationals so you may ask yourself parenthetically how is and why it is that a failed regime which revolted against united states government and led to the slaughter of thousands probably have more monuments in the united states of america of the and those who were victorious in this strange and unusual with those who the data are squashed and defeated wind up having more monuments the
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and the people who hope to squash them. you can now begin to understand the conundrum the list to understand those and revolted against washington in 1861 thought they were in the footsteps of those who voted against london in 1776 as revolting continued that institution known as slavery and in any case with united states government as it looks around its neighborhood and villages under british rule cuba, jamaica, barbados, tri nidad, but you have the two independent states that is revolutionary 80 in the dominican government
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bacchanals to the spanish after they were invited back in 1860 with the assistance of haiti so the idea in washington under president grant was to advance the island and haiti and then deport the newly freed in slave population in mass to the island of that scheme was narrowly defeated in the u.s. congress otherwise a person like myself may not be sitting here speaking english by could be speaking creole or spanish on the island and that is where this book ends but sadly that is not where tens of the island but i am sure you recall 100 years ago the rest u.s. military occupation of both haiti and
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the dominican republic we know the u.s. occupation did not end until the administration never is about of 1934 and the dominican republic had ample support for the dictator who ruled for decades until he met his maker in the assassination attempt. but what is interesting is the color phobia of that persist to say you might recall in the 30's the dominican government massacred numbers of haitians may have seen the photos of sammy sosa one of the top home-run hitters in baseball history but after he retires somehow magically
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his color was transformed into my schaede and then maybe to the face of madonna this isn't necessarily idiosyncrasy is sammy sosa of the more a reflection of a culture not alike of the united states of america that tends to privileged white supremacy to downgrade those that happen to be dark skin a legacy of slavery and i dare say if you want to understand how i began my remarks with a shout out to freddie grey for the recent reports from the chicago authorities that pointed out how the police department is riddled with anti-black racism with a disproportionate number of
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people that are slain not to mention in misused and abused, even if you understand something that is not as grave as the controversy tummy have to wonder still in the history of slavery in the united states but more them that another step to understand how the united states was formed in the revolt of the abolition of slavery then you may be able to understand why in 2016 we may be staring down the barrel president trump or perhaps the worst alternative them back. so now i will turn to the book "paul robeson" the artist as revolutionary". as you may recall, paul robeson born in new jersey
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died in philadelphia. in-between then he extent -- excelled as a scholar rutgers university and as an athlete an all-american football player baseball catcher, a florida basketball, but he achieved fame as a cultural worker as a singer and actor is not an exaggeration to suggest at the apex of his career he was the best known black american on planet earth and maybe one of the best u.s. nationals because his records were all over the world and his movies were broadcast all over the world as well.
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but paul robeson did not find that to be satisfying to be world-renowned because he knew despite his own personality minted achievements, languishing in hell hole of jim crow were his brothers and sisters in dixie. also the number of black cultural workers, in particular musicians he found his fame and fortune overseas. that is a repetitive pattern of black americans and their artistic gifts are recognized more read of the outside of the united states and inside and paul robeson moving to london in his early 20s if he climbs the ladder of success, to hobnob
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with the great and good allowing him to achieve his stellar accomplishments to play the role of both fellow -- othello although he did make his mark in hollywood nonetheless but a turning point in paul robeson life is in the early 30's when he is on his way to you germany eddington's front-end costs face-to-face the beer teeth that nazi, germany. it shakes them up and goes to the soviet union where he encounters memories from harlan because patterson led
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the charge in the case of the scottsboro nine involving nine black youths accused falsely of sexual molestation in this is important because under the leadership of the international labor defense, the case was turned into an international cause not unlike the apartheid in south africa in the '80s. path that was the first stage of a successful challenge some of jim-crow with the brown vs. board of education with the rise of rosa parks but in many ways the first chapter was struck under the leadership of
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patterson who happened to be a black communist and was trained to a degree in russia and new paul robeson because he was a lawyer at the same time and reignited the friendship and is privatizing the hope to push him to the left from the point in you may recall with the spanish civil war one of the first chapters of the fascists under adolf hitler the spanish republic is
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overthrown because of the ample assistance. bin contributes the talent and funding it probably was misstated in london through the end of his life to the onset of world war ii in europe. but decided to pack up to the lonely and. they are engaged in a debate in parenthetically you should know in the run-up -- in the run-up to do pearl harbor that japan made a
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very sustained not unsuccessful effort strip there was many contradictions but they were all united around the idea to a greater or lesser degree so when japan bombed pearl harbor it was the infrastructure that paul robeson began to chip away that destiny and fate should rest with solidarity and then rather than coming to the song of -- siren song of the tokyo letting the cat out of the bag my next book
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is on the subject and like many intriguing chapters with the rabil of benicia but paul robeson could chip away at that type of sentiment to be listed in great numbers of the military with the fascist powers but once again no good deed goes unpunished at the end of road or to the onset of the cold war because of the kinship with moscow.
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that is okay to be pro-moscow june 22nd, 1941 when hitler invaded russia it is okay to be pro-moscow. in then your home boy pat buchanan. so if washington vet -- could ally it is beyond the boundary reasons the washington would have none of it. but what takes place in
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194846 and then wags of thing your against black people including soldiers in uniform harry truman's face was turning purple as the blood rushed to his temples but that was a turning point for his live and then beginning to see increased persecution. and that takes away the life blood of his career. and then plummeting from the six figures down to the four figures a concert and then
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was assaulted by a mob to physically mutilate him if not doing away with them all together with the organization led by patterson who by that time a so-called communist front pursuing those to their grave. he was barely able to escape with his body intact but it did not end there. but you will recall that they filed a petition which with the united nations and charging the authorities against black people the petition they published this
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audacious maneuver sold thousands of copies abroad putting pressure on the authority to do something and recall that this particular moment when washington was seeking to peak -- point the finger of accusation but when patterson id paul robeson piled the position he was called something of day hypocrite to put enormous pressure on the united states to do something about jim-crow it is this surprising if you look at the brief filed by u.s. state department which reverses plessey verses ferguson decision that jim
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crow was legal and constitutional then you cannot begin to understand why it took place with omnibus spending without understanding the role of the left with international alliances because i dare say if we look at colonialism what is striking about these regimes in northern africa or southern africa look at the devolution of the oppression or apart paid - - apartheid you could understand the external pressures the democratic
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elections in 1994 without the troops that defeated the apartheid military on the battlefield and then of course, floating in the ether with the idea the authorities did not negotiate with their opponents than the troops might not be satisfied kicking their butts but then march that helps to induce sweet reason. so back to north america now you can understand how jim-crow system was forced province:north america from that situation with the
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alliance of the left-wing forces and to paul robeson was the exemplar of that kind of movement in the paid a very heavy price. and then they yielded to the people will pressure he immediately left and returned to london if you want to understand his attraction to use socialism look to london instead of moscow. he was very close to wrestling those forces even though he reportedly told the investigating authorities and i speculate it was close to the british
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communist and then returns to london and also to travel throughout europe. to say that he overdoes it and then to an adoring audiences. after his life that -- his wife that passes away will be one of the closest comrades that is a
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working-class community in the city of philadelphia that becomes a virtual recluse because of budgetary the health. because they pay homage vp debated is the case through the civil-rights movement through sncc but also will read as scott king and the associates also paid homage for years and philadelphia.
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because of socialism that has a resurgence in the united states. and the cause of the breath of humanity because one of the keynotes of paul robeson life was his maniacal study that he reported the could read dozens of languages in from his point of view if humanity was one such as
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socialism then he felt in terms of communicating were effectively with global audiences that he should be able to speak in the town of any audience he encountered. and as a conclusion once again if you try to understand the tribulation and sent travails of the black people over the centuries even though lawyers would speak warmly of the founders of those terrible -- noble documents. and all of us and are
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initially excluded but the founders did not have people like myself in mind just like they didn't have the furniture in mind we were considered at the same level but we could fight a glorious struggle but once again we could fight that glorious struggle of the international community of the black flies matter movement and tell a end of last you learn the basic lesson in order to achieve success you are left
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sprawling in the dust what they are telling us is there a stunning array with the euro american communities and the not so wealthy and in many ways that particular coalition replicates that coalition to dispossess the native americans and when i hear the phrase make america great again, it makes me recall to go back to this book to the island of martinique of where slavery was abolished but then they
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came back and i think if we're not careful perhaps slavery would not come back this something worse will return. thanks for your attention. [applause] >>. >> thanks for your mounted of work did your continued commitment. [applause]
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>> my question is confronting a the haitian revolution that precipitated the abolitionist wavering, what is your opinion but with today's political climate? and with those uprisings. >> i now find myself in strange agreement with u.s. secretary of state john kerry doing the business of the only atomic weapons as the last resort and he did
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not exclude war altogether and sell it say something similar to say dividend of correlation of forces in north america with many of our fox not being armed and given the militarize nature of these police guards like california and new york of contributions to politicians i don't think that violence
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should be the first option if you push people into a quarter and brutalize them from baltimore in have examples like freddie grey where a person enters into the custody it is perfectly understandable why there are forces in this city to except that in a supine fashion. because they are trying to understand of lessons as well and they recognize that unless you give a forceful robust from that type of violence, you are guaranteed to have a slew of freddie grey is going forward that i
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find totally unacceptable. >> 84 insight i have a question, during the time the gray area 1941 through 45 that we did not focus on the communist situation can you expand more on that? >> as you know, it begins late august.
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in how it enters the conflict that they were able to construct thousands upon thousands of africans to fight in their behalf. or woodrow wilson from princeton university from the idea league university. helping to drive numerous black families into poverty.
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that the peas did ice-cream would be merged to make us sacrifice that some of the laughter from the nonsense. this is fresh on the of mind when world war ii was erupting that pushes united states into the war because there was pro tokyo's sentiment among the black americans. then finding they were yanked into alliance with moscow and who made a larger sacrifice in world war ii in in terms of the allies handed anyways united states
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of course, unfed their people of a steady diet and then they had to reverse. the book that i wrote class struggle in hollywood also i talked at length on how fdr was encouraging hollywood to make pro soviet movie should probably find these on youtube. showing stolid as a benevolent leader handed interesting after the war that many of the filmmakers were called before congressional committees and
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grilled about the pros soviet productions in congress did not want to hear with roosevelt himself with sylvester stallone. and former been lauded character as a hero in the same trench with the religious zealots. but of that strange alliance giving rise to the exclusion of religious zealotry on a regular basis throughout the world. sylvester stallone was called before congress in 2016 and grilled about making the "rambo" movie that seems to glorify the osama bin laden character he
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to tell was falling down wind. wire you growing me now? that was a like situation regarding world war ii. washington moscow alliance something that was accepted in broad circles to be seen as the difference between life-and-death. so it was forgettable and not preordained that washington would prevail but for the simple resistance of the red army with regard to it in tight fascism, etc. >> sick banks for your talk.
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so what we see confronting is the articulation of the black radicalization of the shift of the historical movement such as slavery and the decolonization so what about these movements of the black radical tradition against the words of imperialism from africa? >> there is a peace movement that you know, if there is a democracy spring unfolding with everett one dash very courageous effort to confront the war makers of those key issues of campaign
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finance to focus on saudi arabia which in many ways is a country that should be focused on when you try to do unravelled of proliferations natalie because of the direct intervention but which washington end is assisting but also zealotry throughout africa you will find a the hands in terms of the religious extremism africa's most powerful economy with boko haram wreaking havoc will approach the second anniversary of the kidnapping of that teenage
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girls. and who knows what fate has a weighted those girls although we do have reports that some have been turned into a suicide bombers some of them are sex slaves. this is too much even for president obama to issue a veiled criticism that helps to explain why he is headed to saudi arabia shortly to play a role in the global political economy. even the major swing producer of oil as we try to unravel how rand why is how it was over $100 which would
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be good at the pump and with regard to cast a of a critical eye on the alliance's with the evil regime but i am not the only person who has this problem of the to be honest, i do think a peace movement or solidarity movement that
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needs a renewal in deeper study in military protest because with the tension in the south china sea between united states and chinese forces as ash carter was there at the same time the secretary of state was in japan we are sure the u.s. base and the philippines also in northern australia that president obama is headed to vietnam shortly in despite the fact there to communist regimes trying to understand the rise in recent decades to have an
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economy larger to understand of fixation and obsession with moscow with those religious zealots but also the alliance with china in turn waging war against the yen down. to create a juggernaut. and i dare say that this will not work of the unintended consequence to create a new source that stretches back to the founding of buddhism 25 years ago in the leader of
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the anti-clinton forces like gandhi. so the united states to get the alliance's but not thinking through all the downstream consequences. said people like us wind up paying the price except not enough of us were energized and i teach teenagers for a living but and that allows you to sleep at night but
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tragically this often does not allow such a pleasing results. in to muster the intelligence of the doomsday scenario. >> can you comment on what is happening now between the u.s. is a dominican republic and haiti with the explosion and also the role of the united states since the earthquake in in terms of internal affairs. >> dash you probably know it
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is getting considerable all attention because of secretary of state clinton who had a role in the restoration's there have been many reports of what happened to all the money contributed by many u.s. nationals and what happens to what will be built for haitians that are still very poor conditions. secretary clinton speaks volumes as we speak and then with the run-up that many of
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you know of secretary of state clinton and her role of devastation to haiti now what is unfolding on the border in many ways this goes to my opening remarks with the of a conflagration there is the idea that is sadly enough even if you are born there with generations of family you can reasonably suspect if by accident so
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what is happening to ask for identification and you don't necessarily have day birth certificate. so they have been expelling these people. this is accompanied from those that are thought to be patient and helps to account
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i haven't tried to establish that for example, the there has been in the protest so i am reasonably confident calling upon the government that they human-rights outbreak ended sooner.
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>> i wonder if you can scituate your book on haiti the day reemergence resurgence so if you could resurgence of interest in haiti? >> in approximately 70 years ago to the classic text but over the past year in the
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james and takes a more positive view of washington to take that position to engage his solidarity with his bin space then obviously being a british subject born in trinidad and of british colony and then for your north america i am speaking
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on a steady but i am quite optimistic about that interest is reflected in haiti those of us that access the travails of slavery recognize this institution might continue to persist of the revolutionaries so we hold an enormous red -- debt of gratitude and that after doing research the archive in haiti was devastated but at the same time when i was there a few years ago that
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they could get for a and it is a tremendous archive said he looked to the right on he and north america. it is understandable of the colonial power some people more -- find it more pleasant but i think if we are to give justice to haiti to have to reconstruct the face and in recent years and notice them going to various countries that as a part of foreign aid the united states government will film
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singapore but then the haitian studies institute route go around the world to sweep up the documents relevant to the haitian revolution. i talked about the role of russia but the thing about haiti is the diplomats all over the world because it is a spokesperson for africa all over the world it is
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exhibit a and they have diplomats in london and paris that can help to bring haiti more allies in the international community. he said that haiti was never forgiven globally for successfully delivering the south and italy stuck with me the think it is possible?
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with this narrative to say africans that are involved in executing those pluses the idea of he not being forgiven. >> than with the presidential election of a well-known the evangelist of very nebulous reasons that says the same thing about
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the jury to michigan to have one of the strongest left-wing movements particularly with a strong black liberation movement in the idea to put forward to be so audacious how left-wing movement and they're both of these statements because in terms of reparations that under gunpoint to pay reparations to the former colonial occupiers in fact, he would not be remiss that part of the reparations that haiti
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paid france trickled interest america because during the antebellum period to have the most millionaires per capital many of the of former slaves helter-skelter but also to new orleans to be of beneficiary that has already made reference by the united states of america making reference to the occupation and of course, from 1959
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united states and europe another bout of hysteria and as a result was very concerned that would help to shed light for u.s. backing on these maniacal regimes you can see this as part penalizing of haiti to check out the slave masters but on the other hand, to recall that it became independent as they recognized diplomatically of the height of the u.s. civil war. speaking of the cuban revolution, barack obama
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made overtures to reach fruition in 2014. so in some ways with regard to the revolutionary regimes. and the process took only 55 years to recognize. so obviously we are making steady progress and on that note on that backwards all night. all day. we will fight for freddie grey. [applause] >> thanks for coming.
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we're open and tall 11:00. [inaudible conversations] . .
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they thought it would be a good book for me to read. do you have anything else on my list? >> i'm building up as many hamilton books as possible. i was recently in chile so i have been reading that. >> book tv wants to know what you're reading this summer. tweet us your answer at book tv or posted on your facebook page. now joining us on book tv is professor roderick. he is professor of pacific rim here at claremont mckenna. what does that mean?
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>> i teach courses on latin america and mexico in particular , different facets of two areas including military relations and religion and politics and democracy and valiance in mexico all in an introductory course in mexico. >> we invited you want to talk about one of your many books on us-mexico relations. politics in mexico is the name of the book. is mexico a stable democracy? >> mexico is a stable democracy, but it is what i would describe as an electoral democracy in terms of the change in 2000 with with the election of an individual from an opposition


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