This page allows readers to make and carry on conversations regarding the subject matter of my recent book, The Black Pacific:

Please feel free to comment and respond below.


2 Responses to blackpacific

  1. I was recently emailed by Jeannette Ehrmann, from Goethe University, who is currently researching her important PhD on the Haitian Revolution.

    Dear Robbie,

    I hope your are doing well.

    I am right now sitting in a light-flooded library in the heart of Paris, reading Jean-Louis Janvier’s book “The Detractors of the Black Race and the Republic of Haiti”, published in 1882.

    I just stumbled over a passage that I would like to share with you in case you haven’t come across Janvier yet. It opens up another relation between Haiti and the Black Pacific and a shared identification across the pacific.

    Janvier speaks of Australia, where the indigenous population has been slaughtered; the Sandwich Islands where the population is dimished day by day; the Gambier Islands whose population has to suffer from a theocratic, catholic regime imposed upon them; Tahiti whose population has been diminished dramatically through colonial exploitation, tobacco, alcohol and opium. And New Zealand, where “the extermination of the Maori race has been executed systematically and coldbloodedly by the English. This was accomplished within 40 years.” (p. 54)

    “Don’t we have the right to raise our shoulders when some very ignorant voyagers tell us foolishly that Haitians should open their land to a mass immigration by whites?” (p. 55)

    Unfortunately, there seems to be no English translation except from a short extract (

    The French original is available online:

    I was so astonished when I read you chapter on the Maori/Haiti relation. Now, it’s great to see that this relation was not one-sided but grounded in a solidarity from Haiti’s part as well and that it could transcend the boundaries of colonial empires and languages.

    With this new discovery (at least for me), I wish you a great day on the other side of the channel.

    All the best,

  2. Came across this the other day. Can be interpreted a number of ways!

    “The study of race is at a low ebb indeed when we hear the same contemptuous epithet of “nigger” applied indiscriminately by the Englishmen abroad to the blacks of the West Coast of Africa, the Kaffirs of Natal, the Lascars of Bombay, the Hindoos of Calcutta, the aborigines of Australia, and even the Maoris of New Zealand!”
    – Professor William Henry Flower, comparative anatomist and anthropologist, addressing meeting at York, UK (1881)

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