Toussaint Louverture

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-12-31
  • Publisher: Duke Univ Pr

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In 1934 C.L.R. James, the widely-known Trinidadian intellectual, writer, and political activist, wrote the play Toussaint Louverture: The story of the only successful slave revolt in history, which was presumed lost until its rediscovery in 2005. Performed in 1936 at London's Westminster Theatre by a cast including the American star Paul Robeson, this production marked the first time black professional actors starred on the British stage in a play written by a black playwright. This edition includes the program, photographs, and reviews from the 1936 production, a contextual introduction and editorial notes on the play by Christian Høgsbjerg, and select essays and letters by James from this period. In Toussaint LouvertureJames demonstrates the full tragedy and heroism of Louverture by showing how the Haitian revolutionary leader is caught in a dramatic conflict arising from the contradiction between the barbaric realities of New World slavery and the modern ideals of the Enlightenment. In his portrayal of the Haitian Revolution James aspired to vindicate black accomplishments in the face of racism and to support the struggle for self-government for his native Caribbean. Toussaint Louvertureis an indispensable companion work to The Black Jacobins(1938), James's classic account of Haiti's revolutionary struggle for liberation.

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