Jefferson was not a benevolent slave owner and doesn’t need any apologists   Recently updated !

More than one year ago, a discussion on Twitter regarding the enslaved woman Sally Hemings (owned by Thomas Jefferson) led me to post here a text discussing how problematic is to refer to enslaved women as mistresses. Although it is obvious that enslaved women had no other choice than to have sexual intercourse with their masters […]


Enegrecendo o Museu do Louvre : Beyoncé, Jay Z e os Legados da escravidão

O vídeo da música Apes**t de Beyoncé e Jay Z reanima o diálogo sobre a escravidão e seus legados. A música é parte do novo álbum conjunto do casal Carter. Longe dos Estados Unidos, os Carters ocuparam o Museu do Louvre, um dos mais importantes museus de arte do mundo e sem dúvida um dos maiores […]


Blackening the Louvre Museum: Beyoncé, Jay Z, and the Legacies of Slavery

The video of the song Apes**t  by Beyoncé and Jay Z revives the conversation about slavery and its legacies. The song is part of the couple’s new joint album as the Carters. Far from the United States, the Carters occupied the Louvre Museum, one of the most important art museums in the world and greatest […]


Slave by Another Name ? Or How Evil is to Use the Term “Slave”

For long time now we have had this discussion on the use of the word “slave” and “enslaved” to refer to men, women, and children who had the legal status of slave or slaves. It has been argued that the use of the term “slave” is offensive because being a slave is a state and […]


Quick Notes on Why Queen Njinga Matters

This is not an elaborate review, but to honor Women’s History Month, let me tell you why you should read Njinga of Angola: Africa’s Warrior Queen, a biography just published by Africanist historian Linda M. Heywood. This book is the first scholarly biography of Queen Njinga (1582-1663), of one of the most controversial female figures in the history of Africa and the Atlantic […]


The problem of using the term “mistress” to refer to enslaved women   Recently updated !

The issue regarding the status of enslaved women as “mistresses” is generating discussion on social media, this time because of a tweet by a Washington Post‘s journalist Krissah Thompson on her article highlighting the new findings on Sally Hemings at Monticello. In that tweet, Thompson referred to Hemings as the “mistress” of Thomas Jefferson, and the discussion resulted in a recent Teen Vogue article explaining […]


Meet Ona Judge: Never Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

The last time I wrote a post here was almost one year ago. As February 2017 comes to an end, and I have been reading so many great books published by women historians, I thought it was time to resume my posts on books, not as elaborated book reviews, but rather as notes that can […]


Memory as a Response to the Problem of Slavery

This text is based on my intervention in the final roundtable of the 2015 Gilder Lehman International Conference held at Yale University, on October 30-31, 2015. I thank David Blight and Marcela Echeverri for inviting me to participate in the conference. As you will see, my intervention refers to several other papers presented during the conference […]


Memory and Slavery: Chico Rei, An “African King” in Brazil

Memorializing slavery and making slavery part of official initiatives remains a problem in a country like Brazil, where slavery was outlawed only in 1888. Obstacles prevent this painful past to become visible in the public space. Moreover, even though the heritage of slavery and the Atlantic slave trade was not always recognized in official initiatives by […]