The Black Jacobins

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  • Topic: Slavery, C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins
  • Pages : 4 (1201 words )
  • Download(s) : 434
  • Published : June 6, 2011
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1. What perspective does C.L.R. James’ The Black Jacobins present on the history of black struggle for freedom? To what extent does it help you better understand the history of African Americans?

C.L.R James in The Black Jacobins had gone beyond the recount of an historical event. His work did not only depict the black struggle for freedom but it gives us the opportunity to encounter with various slaves responsible for the fall of the French rule. C.L.R James also offers us the perspective of the empowerment of the black community. Contrary to others authors, James gives us a detailed account of the rebellion of those slaves. He shows us that the slaves (both men and women) were not passive ‘object’ and that they “constantly rebelled and resisted their fate, whether through organized rebellion, individual violence, or still more subtle means” (Baptist, nd). The Black Jacobins is therefore more that an historical account, it is a heritage that one should take into example and should be proud of.

C.L.R James enables us as readers to visualize and participate in the struggle of the black for freedom. He gives us new perspectives and prospects to consider. For example: he shows the rebellious side of the slaves and pay tribute for it. Unlike others authors, James denounces the atrocities endure by the Haitian slaves. In chapter One of The Black Jacobins, he makes a clear account of the punishments that the white owners imposed on the black which he clearly defined as The Property. The various punishments were mutilations, whipping, tortures and death. The author shows that both male and female slaves were tortured and both resisted tortures. They culminated a deep-rooted sense of anguish which lead to resistance. In James’ views, they did not only resist but they struggle too. They attacked their defendless masters, killed them, poisoned them and their wives and made use of Vodou to hurt them. As C.L.R James (1938) states the slaves “remained, despite their...
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