Thursday, December 07, 2006

Haiti and Post-Colonial Culture

The true beginning of third world liberation and postcolonial history came perhaps with the Haitian Revolution, the founding of the first free black republic and the first new world state to abolish slavery. Enlightenment values in the Caribbean, the first real test to the "universal" doctrines of "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" and, especially, "Liberte, Egalite, et Fraternite!" The Spirit of Bandung lived among the "Black Jacobins"! What is the importance of the Haitian Revolution for later struggles for liberation in the Caribbean, in Africa under colonialism? How has the subsequent history of Haiti also tragically typified the challenges of postcolonial national movements elsewhere? Dr. Chris Bongie of Queen's English department, foremost scholar of Haiti in literature and Caribbean post-colonial culture generally, talks with Radio Bandung about the great revolution; its effect on the Caribbean and postcolonial literature, culture, and history; and the way it is remembered in culture.


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