While much attention has been given to African Americans’ twentieth-century engagement with Africa, East Asia, and the Communist International, Brandon R. Byrd places Haiti firmly at the center of Black political thought as it developed after the United States’ Civil War. He offers a more nuanced understanding of African Americans’ ideas about Haiti, not just the Haitian Revolution, and shows how their fluid thinking about Haiti shaped broader developments in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Black political thought. Brandon R. Byrd is a historian of nineteenth and twentieth-century Black intellectual and social history, with a special focus on Black internationalism. He earned a Ph.D. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and currently teaches history at Vanderbilt University. His favorite books include Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (2007) and Edwidge Danticat, Brother I’m Dying (2007).
The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University and the National History Center) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. This session is co-sponsored by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture and co-chaired by Karin Wulf (College of William and Mary), the director of the Omohundro Institute.
The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partners (the George Washington University History Department and the Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest) for their continued support.