The role of New England in the global expansion of white supremacist politics after the abolition of slavery

Hosted by Atlantic Black Box and Indigo Arts Alliance

Thursday, August 26, 2021 from 5:00 – 6:00 pm

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In the middle of the nineteenth century, elite white men from New England began to purchase Cuban sugar plantations. Enslaved people labored on these plantations until 1886. After slavery was abolished, white New Englanders fought to extend Jim Crow onto the island in order to maintain control over their free Afro-Cuban workers. Afro-Cubans resisted. Their movement to remove New England capitalists from Cuban soil resulted in the state-sponsored massacre of roughly three thousand Black workers in 1912. This story remains virtually unknown in the United States, but it is a vital part of New England’s history.

Image from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

About the speaker

Samantha Payne is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at Harvard University. Her research interests include the comparative history of slavery and emancipation, race, and the history of capitalism. Her dissertation, The Last Atlantic Revolution: Reconstruction and the Struggle for Democracy in the Americas, 1861-1912, explores the transnational dimensions of the Black freedom struggle in the United States, Cuba, and Brazil, the last societies to abolish slavery in the Atlantic World.

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