Claims to memory: beyond slavery and emancipation in the French Caribbean
Why do the people of the French Caribbean still continue to be haunted by the memory of their slave past more than one hundred and fifty years after the abolition of slavery? What process led to the divorce of their collective memory of slavery and emancipation from France's portrayal of these historical phenomena? How are Martinicans and Guadeloupeans today transforming the silences of the past into historical and cultural manifestations rooted in the Caribbean? This book answers these questions by relating the 1998 controversy surrounding the 150th anniversary of France's abolition of slavery to the period of the slave regime spanning the late Enlightenment and the French Revolution. By comparing a diversity of documents—including letters by slaves, free people of color, and planters, as well as writings by the philosophes, royal decrees, and court cases—the author untangles the complex forces of the slave regime that have shaped collective memory. The current nationalization of the memory of slavery in France has turned these once peripheral claims into passionate political and cultural debates.
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Memories of Slavery 1
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Abbé Abbé Raynal abolition of slavery abolitionary abolitionism abolitionist African slaves Amis des Noirs Bénot black slaves Black Spartacus Caffard century Code Noir colonial planters commemoration couleur cultural decree Delgres deux Indes Diderot difﬁcult eighteenth eighteenth-century emancipation Encyclopédie Enlightenment enslavement equality European ﬁght ﬁgure ﬁnally ﬁnd ﬁrst Fort-de-France France France-Antilles France's free coloreds French Caribbean French Revolution Geggus Glissant Guadeloupe Guadeloupean heritage historian human humanitarian ideals ideology inﬂuence islands l'abolition de l'esclavage letters liberty literary maroon bands marronnage Martinican Martinican slaves Martinique master mawon Mémorial memory of slavery middle passage Montesquieu Musée du Rhum narrative nation nationale Negroes ofﬁcial Paris Petit-Canal philosophes pity plantation Pointe-à-Pitre political portrayals racial Raimond Raynal realm of memory reﬂections Saint Domingue Saint-Méry Saint-Pierre self-liberation slave cemetery slave past slave rebellion slave regime slave revolts Slave Ship slave trade Société des Amis speciﬁc statues symbol tion violence West Indian white planters writings Zamor Ziméo