We are pleased to announce that a new book review by postgraduate student James West of the University of Manchester has been added to the research section of the Black Atlantic Resource, which takes a look at the 2007 publication Wounds of Returning.
Jessica Adams, Wounds of Returning: Race, Memory and Property on the Postslavery Plantation, 2007 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press)
The author’s description of this study as an ‘eclectic, unconventional plantation tour’ (15-‐16) probably best surmises Wounds of Returning, a highly original but often frustrating work on the spatial, cultural and ideological legacy of southern plantations since emancipation. Adams builds from a Lockean foundation concerning the connection between property and the individual to argue that race forms an integral part of the relationship between possession, property and personhood in the American south. Using a wide array of cultural and literary artefacts Adams assesses the ways in which plantation culture has been negotiated through film, music, literature and tourism …read more
If you are interested in contribution a book review to the Black Atlantic Resource please contact us.
Lai Fong, The Coolie Ship Avon Under Full Sail, c.1898
The above ship carried South Asian indentured labourers across the Atlantic to replace the post-Slavery workforce.
The phenomenon of Indenture, which is addressed in the new concept of the Brown Atlantic, is introduced in the first essay in a series of three. Entitled, ‘The Brown Atlantic: Re-thinking Post-Slavery’, Devi Hardeen’s study will present the interconnection of the Black and Brown Atlantic.
“Following a recent workshop, ‘The French Atlantic: A “Tricoloured” Ocean’, held at the International Slavery Museum (ISM), Liverpool, I was kindly invited to contribute to this ‘Black Atlantic Resource Debate’. One of the rationales of the inter-institutional project at the ISM was to develop greater recognition of Liverpool’s post-Slavery trading past. It is little known that four years after Emancipation, the first ships for South Asian Atlantic Indenture would embark from the city’s ports. The possibility of a site to reflect Liverpool’s continuing post-Slavery role was raised at the workshop. It was discussed that such a site would reflect the historical nexus between the metropole and the country of origin, India, in the legacies of Slavery. In Benjamin Disraeli’s ‘jewel in the crown’, a memorial plaque in Kolkata was inaugurated in January 2011 to commemorate Indenture. The site of museums as an interface between research, academia, and the public that can inform of the events and processes of Atlantic Slavery and its aftermath, led to positive discussions.
“Writing for this website, visitors will note that two years ago, again in partnership with National Museums Liverpool, seminars were held on the subject of ‘Re-thinking Post-slavery [sic] in the Francophone Caribbean’. Addressing that theme, within the scope of this essay, three main arguments will be attempted. In a three-fold approach, this essay will firstly introduce the new concept of the tri-partite ‘Brown Atlantic’. Thereafter, the first dimension of the concept, ‘Past’ will map the phenomenon of South Asian Atlantic Indenture. Thirdly, from this arena, study will focus on the Francophone and Creolophone mid-Atlantic island of Martinique. It will be discussed how we might ‘re-think post-Slavery’ by evaluating the impact of the Brown Atlantic, and by examining possible future avenues of exploration in the post-Slavery Atlantic world. ”
To read Devi Hardeen’s article ‘The Brown Atlantic”Re-thinking Post-Slavery” in full click here.
This week’s video feature begins with Jack White’s mention of Cab Calloway and improvisational performance of St. James’ Infirmary Blues on BBC2’s Later with Jools Holland:
Before doing his northern Detroit version of St. James’ Infirmary Blues, White mentions that he first heard it performed by Cab Calloway as part of a Betty Boop cartoon. This great version of the song along with the original cartoon is also available online and posted below. Calloway’s performance comes about 4 minutes 20 into the cartoon and it’s not only Calloway’s voice you can hear but also his dance moves you can see too, as performed by Koko the clown. Calloway’s performance was in fact recorded and then transferred into the animation using the rotoscoping method so that frame-by-frame Koko would mimic Calloway’s unique moves. This method was also used to transfer Calloway’s move onto the screen in the Betty Boop cartoon Minnie the Moocher that we used as our first video of the week post.
Of course White has always been influenced by earlier blues artists and this continues on his first solo album, Blunderbuss, which was released last week. Track 8 – I’m Shakin’ – features a great guitar riff and sees White covering “The Prince of the Blues” Little Willie John.
Earlier in his career as one part of the duo The White Stripes live performances often included covers of various Delta Blues artists including: Blind Willie McTell, Robert Johnson and as shown here below the fierce voice and guitar bashing sounds of Son House.
We are happy to announce an upcoming collaborative workshop that will focus on the French Atlantic:
“Final details – including the rationale behind the workshop, information about speakers and a full programme – for ‘The French Atlantic: A Tricoloured Ocean’ are now available on the website of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery, based at the University of Liverpool:
This is a collaborative workshop taking place at the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, on Monday 21 May 2012 from 12.30 to 4.30 pm. As spaces are limited, we would be grateful if you would inform Devi Hardeen (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Monday 7 May 2012 if you would like to attend.
We hope that you will be able to join us.”
To mark the centennial year of Romare Bearden’s birth, begun in September 2011, the Studio Museum in Harlem has initiated The Bearden Project: an exhibition which celebrates the profound influence of this great artist on successive generations of art-makers.
Each contemporary artist represented in the show was asked to produce a work of art inspired by Bearden’s life and legacy. The artists mined a wide range of ideas and themes associated with Bearden’s career, including Modernism, urbanism, jazz and, of course, the medium of collage. The majority chose to make new works for the exhibition, while others submitted earlier works that honor or were inspired by Bearden.
There is an innovative online element to this project: Each week 10 featured artists from the exhibition will be highlighted online and high resolution images of their work will be available to view alongside their narrative of inspiration through Bearden’s work.
The Studio Museum Harlem’s exhibition is unsurprisingly not the only event to be celebrating the work of this twentieth century American master. More information about the variety of exhibitions being held across North America to celebrate can be found at beardencentennial.org, alongside information about events, and images of 100 of Bearden’s artworks each selected by contemporary artists and made available to view online.