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This presentation about first blacks in the Americas seeks to fill a historical gap in the story of slavery in America. Over 500 years later, we continue to read and learn about the enslavement of millions of Africans in the New World, but the historiography on Atlantic slavery has failed to adequately historicize the beginning of the intercontinental entrepreneurship through human trafficking known as the Transatlantic Slave Trade. New archival documents make a pioneering contribution to scholarship by telling the story of the first black Africans brought to the Americas, mainly to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, the initial port of entry of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

About the speaker

Lissette Acosta Corniel is a Fulbright Scholar in the Dominican Republic conducting research on black women in Santo Domingo during the XVII-XVIII centuries. She is also in the Dominican Republic land-marking slavery sites to be made available digitally as part of a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute grant under Purdue University and Hamilton College, Space and Place in Africana/Black Studies. She is the co-curator of the traveling exhibit, “Sixteenth Century La Española: Glimpses of the First Blacks in the Early Colonial Americas,” an exhibit of 24 panels showcasing colonial manuscripts about the first blacks to arrive in the New World. She was the Research Associate for the digital slave data project produced by the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute at the City College of New York, First Blacks in the Americas.

This event is sponsored by the African & African Diaspora Studies Program and co-sponsored by MSDO and Spanish. It is also part of the monthly history colloquia series. These lectures are open to the Calvin community - students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends - and all are welcomed and encouraged to attend. Come early to enjoy refreshments and conversation, and feel free to ask questions or join the discussion at the end.

April 2017
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