Gilder Lehrman Book Breaks features the most exciting history scholars in America discussing their books with host William Roka live, followed by a Q&A with home audiences.
Join us online on Sunday, February 14 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT) with Brandon R. Byrd as he discusses his book "The Black Republic: African Americans and the Fate of Haiti."
"The Black Republic" explores the ambivalent attitudes that African American leaders in the post-Civil War era held toward Haiti, the first and only Black republic in the Western Hemisphere. Following emancipation, African American leaders of all kinds—politicians, journalists, ministers, writers, educators, artists, and diplomats—identified new and urgent connections with Haiti, a nation long understood as an example of Black self-determination. They celebrated not only its diplomatic recognition by the United States but also the renewed relevance of the Haitian Revolution.
While a number of African American leaders defended the sovereignty of a Black republic whose fate they saw as intertwined with their own, others expressed concern over Haiti's fitness as a model Black republic. When the US military occupied Haiti in 1915, it created a crisis for W. E. B. Du Bois and other Black activists whose demand for and idea of a liberated Haiti became a cornerstone of the anticapitalist, anticolonial, and antiracist radical Black internationalism.
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