sx salon 16

July 2014

Toussaint Louverture: The Story of the Only Successful Slave Revolt in History; A Play in Three Acts

On the whole, our spring 2014 issue explores that indeterminate connection best named by Opal Palmer Adisa, in her short story “God’s Child,” as affinity. Such affinities are at times inexplicable, as in Adisa’s story wherein the speaker is drawn to a mystical madwoman, and at other times seemingly obvious, such as the intergenerational connection C. L. R. James feels with Toussaint Louverture. As many writers and scholars often do, James returns to what can be called an ongoing conversation with Toussaint in several of his writings. In this issue of sx salon, Raphael Dalleo, Jeremy Glick, and Laura Harris respond to the publication of James’s 1934 play, Toussaint Louverture, recently made available by editor Christian Høgsbjerg and Duke University Press. The three discussion articles, and the response from Høgsbjerg, consider what it means to have this conversation in dramatic form and what it means to have it available now, after decades of it being considered “lost.” How does this change our understanding of James? Of Toussaint? Of our own affinities—or lack thereof—with each figure?

Both James and Toussaint recur across this issue. The former is the focus of an interview Minkah Makalani conducts with James’s niece and nephew; the interview reveals a different caliber of affinity for James, the kind that supported him in intimate settings and enabled his more public work. And Andrew Daily’s review of Free and French in the Caribbean extends the fascination many intellectuals and writers feel for Toussaint. In some aspects, the other two reviews in this issue—Charmaine Crawford’s discussion of the already influential Sex and the Citizen and Jennifer Brittan’s reading of Eric Walrond: The Critical Heritage—are more about the disaffinities that accompany difference.

Rounding out sx salon 16 is poetry from Donna Aza Weir-Soley and Geoffrey Philp. Philp’s poem, “Letter from Marcus Garvey,” returns us to the idea of intergenerational affinity and reminds us of the ways we might speak our present to and through those who have walked before us.

As we move into summer, the Small Axe Project welcomes a new member of the sx salon editorial team: Vanessa K. Valdés, an assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese at City College, CUNY, joins us as book review editor. Please feel free to contact her at about potential book reviews.

We hope you enjoy this issue (table of contents below).

Kelly Baker Josephs


Table of Contents

Introduction and Table of Contents—Kelly Baker Josephs


Sex and the Citizen, edited by Faith Smith—Charmaine Crawford
Free and French in the Caribbean: Toussaint Louverture, Aimé Césaire, and Narratives of Loyal Opposition, by John Patrick Walsh—Andrew M. Daily
Eric Walrond: The Critical Heritage, edited by Louis Parascandola and Carl A. Wade—Jennifer Brittan

Discussion—Toussaint Louverture: The Story of the Only Successful Slave Revolt in History; A Play in Three Acts

Shifting the Geography of C. L. R. James Studies: Christian Høgsbjerg’s Toussaint Louverture—Raphael Dalleo
Paul Robeson as “Sporting Hero”—Jeremy Matthew Glick
Hero as Instrument—Laura Harris
Black Jacobinism, Black Bolshevism, and the British Stage—Christian Høgsbjerg


Donna Aza Weir-Soley
Geoffrey Philp


Opal Palmer Adisa


“A Very Unusual People”: An Interview with Erica James and Henry James, Niece and Nephew of C. L. R James—Minkah Makalani



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