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Debby Esmeé de Vlugt MA

PhD candidate


Area(s) of interest: Colonialism & Postcolonialism, Dutch History, Identity

Cohort/Start PhD: 2018-2019

Black Power in the Dutch Caribbean, 1960s-1970s

Leiden University / Roosevelt Institute for American Studies
Promotor(es): Prof. dr. Damian Pargas
Aanstelling: vanaf januari 2019

This project explores the influence of African American Black Power ideology on cultural and political resistance in the Netherlands Antilles and Suriname in the 1960s and 1970s. Although the Black Power movement has traditionally been studied in North American context, a relatively recent historiographical shift has made room for a more transnational approach to this radical campaign for black pride and solidarity. This shift has been embraced by a number of historians, who have now published widely on the presence of Black Power ideology abroad. Especially historians of the Caribbean have started to explore this topic in depth, as many African Caribbean activists openly identified as Black Power advocates. However, current literature on Caribbean Black Power is heavily dominated by studies of the Anglophone Caribbean. Very little has been written about the popularity of Black Power in the Dutch Caribbean, even though local newspapers from the 1960s and 1970s suggest that Black Power was highly debated and that, for example, local revolutionaries visited Black Power conferences in the United States. By focusing on Black Power ideology in the Netherlands Antilles and Suriname, I hope to contribute to our understanding of transnational movements and to current debates on race and resistance in Dutch colonial history.
Voeten, Hans