The Black Archives: Exploring the Politics of Black Dutch Radicals

Mitchell Esajas 1  and Jessica de Abreu 2
  • 1 , Amsterdam
  • 2 , Amsterdam

Abstract

In this article, the authors introduce “The Black Archives”—an alternative archive consisting of more than 8,000 books, official documents and artefacts. The archive is a critical intervention, challenging dominant historical narratives, which tend to downplay histories of colonialism, slavery and their legacy. The authors explore how archival research and art can be used to make visible the histories that have been marginalised in dominant historical narratives. This is done with a case study: an exhibition based on archival research on two Black radicals, Hermina and Otto Huiswoud. The research reveals the history of the black and Surinamese activism in the Netherlands which intersects with global histories of the black radicalism.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Adi, Hakim. Pan-Africanism and Communism: The Communist International, Africa and the Diaspora, 1919-1939. Africa World Press, 2013.

  • Amatmoekrim, Karin. Over deze Surinaamse held hebben we het te weinig in Nederland.” [We are talking too little about this Surinamese hero in the Netherlands.] De Correspondent, 26 January 2017, www.decorrespondent.nl/7866/over-dezesurinaamse-held-hebben-we-het-te-weinig-in-nederland/1357894223532-b330524b.

  • Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunsten. “Winnaars Amsterdamprijs voor de Kunst 2018 bekend.” [Winner Amsterdam Artprize 2018 announced] Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunsten, 15 October 2018, www.amsterdamsfondsvoordekunst.nl/fondsinitiatieven/amsterdamprijs-voor-de-kunst/winnaars-amsterdamprijs-voor-de-kunst-2018-bekend/.

  • The Black Archives. Information on Heilbron Collection. “De Heilbron collectie.” The Black Archives, 28 November 2018, www.theblackarchives.nl/de-heilbron-collectie.html

  • The Black Archives. Information on Willemsen Collection. “De Willemsen Collectie.” The Black Archives, 28 November 2018, www.theblackarchives.nl/de-willemsen-collectie.html

  • Bergin, Cathy. “‘Unrest among the Negroes’: The African Blood Brotherhood and the Politics of Resistance.” Race & Class, vol. 57, no. 3, 2016, pp. 45-58.

  • Davies, Carole Boyce. Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones. Duke University Press, 2007.

  • Davis. A. Angela Davis about her visit at the black archive and uncovering histories. Facebook, uploaded by The Black Archives, 16 May 2018, www.facebook.com/TheBlackArchives1/videos/angela-y-davis-about-her-visit-at-the-black-archive-anduncovering-histories-of-/250407805505900/

  • Davis, Helen. “Stop the Disruptive Tactics of the Negro ‘Leaders.’” Negro Worker, June 1934, p. 21.

  • Davis, Helen. “The Approaching War of ‘Defense.’” The Negro Worker, Dec. 1934, p. 5.

  • De Kom, Anton. “Starvation, Misery and Terror in Dutch Guiana” Negro Worker, June 1934, p. 19.

  • Derrida, Jacques. Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression. Translated by Eric Prenowitz, The University of Chicago Press, 1998.

  • Esajas, Mitchell. “Lessen Uit Een Verloren Geschiedenis Van De Zwarte Radicale Traditie.” [Lessons from a lost history of the Black Radical tradition] The Black Archives, 28 March 2018, www.theblackarchives.nl/blog/lessen-uit-een-verlorengeschiedenis-van-de-zwarte-radicale-traditie.html

  • Essed, Philomena and Kwame Nimako. “Designs and (Co) incidents: Cultures of Scholarship and Public Policy on Immigrants/minorities in the Netherlands.” International Journal of Comparative Sociology, vol. 47, no. 3-4, 2006, pp. 281-312.

  • Gertrudis van Enckevort, Maria. Life and work of Otto Huiswoud: Professional Revolutionary and Internationalist (1893-1961). Diss., 2008.

  • Foucault, Michel. The Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language. Translated by Sheridan Smith, Pantheon Books, 1972.

  • Heilbron, Miguel. Interview by Mitchell Esajas and Jessica de Abreu. 27 June 2018.

  • Heilbron, Waldo. De toekomst van het verleden: reflecties over Nederland’s slavernijverleden en erfgoed. [The future of the past: Reflections on Dutch slavery history and its heritage]. Stichting Museum Suriname, 2006.

  • Helsloot, John IA. “Zwarte Piet and Cultural Aphasia in the Netherlands.” Quotidian. Journal for the Study of Everyday Life, vol. 3, 2012, pp. 1-20

  • Huiswoud, Hermina. Personal Notes, Huiswoud Collectie, The Black Archives, Amsterdam.

  • Huiswoud, Otto and McKay. “Speeches to the 4th World Congress of the Comintern on the Negro Question. ” Bulletin of the IV Congress of the Communist International, vol., no. 22, year, pp. 17-23.

  • Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich. “The Right of Nations to Self-Determination.” The Nationalism Reader, 1995, pp. 208-16.

  • Meel, Peter. “Anton de Kom and the Formative Phase of Surinamese Decolonization.” New West Indian Guide/Nieuwe West-Indische Gids, vol. 83, no. 3-4, 2009, pp. 249-280.

  • Meel, Peter. “Tussen autonomie en onafhankelijkheid.” [Between autonomy and independence.] Leiden: K1TLV, vol. no., 1999, pp. 257-260.

  • McDuffie, Erik S. Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Left Feminism. Duke University Press, 2011.

  • Nimako, Kwame and Glenn Frank Walter Willemsen. The Dutch Atlantic: Slavery, Abolition and Emancipation (Decolonial Studies, Postcolonial Horizons). Pluto Press, 2011.

  • New Urban Collective. “Information on Mission and Vision of New Urban Collective.” Missie en Visie. Over N.U.C., 28 November 2018, www.nucnet.nl/over-n-u-c/missie-en-visie

  • Post, Ken. Arise Ye Starvelings: The Jamaican Labour Rebellion of 1938 and its Aftermath Vol. 3. Springer Science & Business Media, 2012.

  • Powell, Katrina. “Hidden Archives: Revealing Untold Stories.” Journal of American Studies, vol. 52, no. 1, 2018, pp. 26-44.

  • Turner, Joyce Moore and Burghardt Turner. Caribbean Crusaders and the Harlem Renaissance. University of Illinois Press, 2005.

  • Robinson, Cedric J. Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition. University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

  • Statistics Netherlands. “Bevolking Met Migratieachtergrond; Geslacht, Leeftijd, 1 May 2018” [Population with migration background, gender age, May 1st 2018], 25 November 2018, www.statline.cbs.nl/StatWeb/publication/?PA=70787ned.

  • Statistics Netherlands. “Annual report on Integration 2016. November. 2016”, 16 August 2018, www.cbs.nl/nl-nl/publicatie/2016/47/jaarrapportintegratie-2016.

  • Stoler, Ann Laura. “Colonial Archives and the Arts of Governance.” Archival Science, vol. 2.1, no. 2, 2002, pp. 87-109.

  • Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. “Trump’s Victory and the Necessity of Solidarity.” International Socialist Review, issue 104 2016, www.isreview.org/issue/104/trumps-victory-and-necessity-solidarity

  • Vereniging Ons Suriname. “Kolonialisme” De Koerier, Oct. 1956, p. 2.

  • Weiner, Melissa F. “(E)RACING SLAVERY: Racial Neoliberalism, Social Forgetting, and Scientific Colonialism in Dutch Primary School History Textbooks.” Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, vol. 11, no. 2, 2014, pp. 329-351.

  • Weiss, Holger. Framing a Radical African Atlantic: African American Agency, West African Intellectuals and the International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers. Brill, 2013.

  • Weiss, Holger. “The Radical African Atlantic, 1930-1933: Writing Class, Thinking Race.” CoWoPa: Comintern Working Paper 23, 2011.

  • Wekker, Gloria. White Innocence: Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race. Duke University Press, 2016.

OPEN ACCESS

Journal + Issues

Open Cultural Studies is a peer-reviewed journal exploring the fields of Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts. It interprets culture in an inclusive sense and promotes new research perspectives in cultural studies. The journal aims to enhance international collaboration among scholars from the Global North and the Global South and help early-career researchers. It is also committed to increasing public access to scholarship on cultural studies.

Search