Tag Archives : slavery


The Value of Enslaved Bodies: A Short Review of The Price for the Their Pound of Flesh   Recently updated !

Women History Month is still here and I avidly read during the weekend the new book The Price for the Their Pound of Flesh by historian Daina Ramey Berry. It is difficult to write about this book, because over its 200 pages and additional 40 pages or more of endnotes, the reader is exposed to a […]


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

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 […]


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

The issue regarding the status of enslaved women as “mistress” 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 into a recent Teen Vogue article explaining […]


Meet Ona Judge: Never Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar   Recently updated !

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 […]


An “Evil” West African King and the Atlantic Slave Trade

The classic comment stating that “Africans sold Africans” during the Atlantic slave trade is very common in online forums or classroom discussions. Commentators who bring this argument, in order to downplay the magnitude of the slave trade as a human atrocity, fail to understand that during the era of the Atlantic slave trade, Africans did not associate themselves with a […]


Slavery as Caricature

This article is based on my newest book Brazil Through French Eyes: A Nineteenth-Century Artist in in the Tropics published by University of New Mexico Press (2015).   French artist François-Auguste Biard (1799-1882) arrived in Brazil in 1858, ten years after the abolition of slavery in the French colonies. By that time slave imports from […]


Slavery in the Colonial North and the Philipsburg Manor

In the last two decades scholars made significant efforts to emphasize the existence of slavery in the US north. Despite these efforts and because scholarship takes time to reach the public, national and international general audiences still think that slavery was restricted to the south of the United States. The city and the state of […]


The Ark of Return: UN Slavery Memorial to be Unveiled Today in New York City

  Today, March 25, 2015, is the United Nations International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, whose theme this year is Women and Slavery. As a scholar working on the history and the public memory of slavery days, like today are important landmarks to study how the slave past is remembered and reconstructed […]