VIRTUAL TICKETS | Members and VESP holders free | Visitors $5
LOCATION | Zoom
This event was previously scheduled on October 20, 2021.
VIRTUAL BOOK TALK: Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War
with Howard French
In a sweeping narrative that traverses 600 years, one that eloquently weaves precise historical detail with poignant personal reportage, Pulitzer Prize finalist Howard W. French retells the story of medieval and emerging Africa, demonstrating how the economic ascendancy of Europe, the anchoring of democracy in America, and the fulfillment of so-called Enlightenment ideals all grew out of Europe’s dehumanizing engagement with the “darkest” continent.
Born in Blackness dramatically retrieves the lives of major African historical figures whose stories have been repeatedly etiolated and erased over centuries, from unimaginably rich medieval African emperors who traded with Asia; to Kongo sovereigns who heroically battled seventeenth-century European powers; to ex-slaves who liberated Haitians from bondage. In doing so, French tells the story of gold, tobacco, sugar, and cotton—and the greatest “commodity” of all, the millions of people brought in chains from Africa to the New World, whose reclaimed histories fundamentally help explain our present world.
A two-time Pulitzer nominee, Howard W. French is a professor of journalism at Columbia University and former New York Times bureau chief in the Caribbean and Central America, West and Central Africa, Tokyo, and Shanghai. The author of five books, French lives in New York City. To learn more, visit howardwfrench.com.
PURCHASE Born in Blackness from our partner, Harvard Book Store.