Episode

5/16 The Failure of Emancipation w/ Kris Manjapra

May 16, 2022

Sam hosts Kris Manjapra, history professor at Tufts University, to discuss his recent book Black Ghost of Empire: The Long Death of Slavery and the Failure of Emancipation, on how exploitation and racial caste systems that are buoyed by the lasting legacies of emancipations. Professor Manjapra begins by discussing what his idea of the “ghost line” entails, as boundaries as drawn between the mainstream histories, and the histories that never get discussed, yet whose effects still linger, before he walks through the five categories of emancipation – gradual, retroactive, compensated, war, and conquest – that he uses to explore the concept, with a common factor of reparations to slave owners. Then, he and Sam dive first into the Haitian revolution as a “retroactive emancipation,” with the actual revolution climaxing in 1805, but was met with immediate French pushback, refusing to acknowledge their independence, and therefore instituting a boycott of their economy (along with the most of Europe and the US) until they settled, 20 years later, on an agreement to see Haiti as an independent state provided they pay reparations for French slave owners that totaled 22 billion dollars in today’s money. Beyond the two decades of boycott that crippled the budding Haitian economy, Sam and Prof. Manjapra look at how this emancipation was defined by a legacy of debt that lasted up until 1947 (over a century later!), paying homage to the institution of slavery and giving this view of Black people as “property” even more legitimacy, before they look to the role of narrative, and how this stifling of Haiti served to let the West downplay this symbol for Black liberation. Next, Professor Manjapra looks to the gradual emancipations of slaves in the Northeast following the American Revolution, as these states saw the importance of manumission, yet still made property rights central to this mission, with freedom only to be achieved by upcoming generations of Black folks after serving their first 18 years under white ownership. Very similarly to the retroactive emancipation of Haiti, they dive into the justification for this as an homage to property rights, which was (and is) perhaps the central political interest at work in that era, with even the most mainstream of abolitionists tending to refer to enslaved peoples via property terminology. Prof. Manjapra and Sam then dive into the compensated emancipation led by the British empire in the 1830s, becoming a standard form of emancipation, in which they gradually paid back slave owners for their losses, lasting up until 2014(!), and paid for (initially) via extensions of their existing colonial regimes in the Caribbean, thus starting nine generations of Black people paying back England for their ancestors’ freedom. After looking at the role of the Civil War and US emancipation as exemplary of the issues with emancipation, diving into the supposed lack of compensation in this war-driven emancipation, and how we still see the lasting hesitancy around Black freedom in the clauses of the three reconstruction amendments, Sam and Prof. Manjapra wrap up the interview by discussing the remnants of emancipation as a continuation of the mutating exploitation that is the racial caste systems that drive the success of monied interests.

Subscribe to the AMQuickie newsletter here:  https://madmimi.com/signups/170390/join

Join the Majority Report Discord! http://majoritydiscord.com/

Get all your MR merch at our store: https://shop.majorityreportradio.com/

Check out today’s sponsors:

Fiasco: Fiasco is a documentary-style podcast series hosted by Leon Neyfakh, the co-creator and original host of Slow Burn. You can listen to the new season of Fiasco exclusively on Audible. Just go to https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiasco-The-AIDS-Crisis-Podcast/B09SVPH27K?ref=mrq_aud_F_pod1&source_code=MRQOR2270330220706 or text FIASCOPOD to 500-500

LiquidIV: Cooler weather makes it easier to miss signs of dehydration like overheating or perspiration, which means it’s even more important to keep your body properly hydrated. Liquid I.V. contains 5 essential vitamins—more Vitamin C than an orange and as much potassium as a banana. Healthier than sugary sports drinks, there are no artificial flavors or preservatives and less sugar than an apple. Grab your favorite Liquid I.V. flavors nationwide at Walmart or you can get 25% off when you go to https://www.liquid-iv.com/ and use code MAJORITYREP at checkout. That’s 25% off ANYTHING you order when you get better hydration today using promo code MAJORITYREP at https://www.liquid-iv.com/.

Grove: Did you know that only nine percent of plastic actually gets recycled, no matter how much we put in our recycling bin? At Grove Collaborative, they believe it’s time to ditch single-use plastics for good – in fact, by 2025, Grove will be 100% plastic-free. From laundry care to hand soaps and more, Grove carries hundreds of products aimed at replacing single-use plastics across every room of your home AND your head-to-toe personal care routine.Go to https://www.grove.co/welcome/pop-hiw?offer=pod22popmajority&utm_medium=podcast&utm_source=or&utm_campaign=acq-majorityreport&utm_term=majority&utm_content=3602 today to get a free gift set worth up to fifty dollars with your first order. Plus, shipping is fast and FREE. Get started RIGHT NOW at https://www.grove.co/welcome/pop-hiw?offer=pod22popmajority&utm_medium=podcast&utm_source=or&utm_campaign=acq-majorityreport&utm_term=majority&utm_content=3602.

Support the St. Vincent Nurses today! https://action.massnurses.org/we-stand-with-st-vincents-nurses/

Check out Matt’s show, Left Reckoning, on Youtube, and subscribe on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/leftreckoning

Subscribe to Matt’s other show Literary Hangover on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/literaryhangover

Check out The Nomiki Show on YouTube. https://www.patreon.com/thenomikishow

Check out Matt Binder’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/mattbinder

Subscribe to Brandon’s show The Discourse on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/ExpandTheDiscourse

Check out The Letterhack’s upcoming Kickstarter project for his new graphic novel! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/milagrocomic/milagro-heroe-de-las-calles

Check out Jamie’s podcast, The Antifada. https://www.patreon.com/theantifada, on iTunes, or at https://www.twitch.tv/theantifada (streaming every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7pm ET!)

Subscribe to Discourse Blog, a newsletter and website for progressive essays and related fun partly run by AM Quickie writer Jack Crosbie. https://discourseblog.com/

Subscribe to AM Quickie writer Corey Pein’s podcast News from Nowhere. https://www.patreon.com/newsfromnowhere 

Follow the Majority Report crew on Twitter:

@SamSeder

@EmmaVigeland

@MattBinder

@MattLech

@BF1nn

@BradKAlsop

The Majority Report with Sam Seder – https://majorityreportradio.com/

Past Episodes

It's ESVN Week 13! Emma and Bradley recap a wild Week 12 slate of NFL action: Aaron Rodgers leaves last night's game with an injury, Mike White shines in relief of Zach Wilson against the Bears, the Seahawks lose a heartbreaker in overtime, and more! And, they discuss the recent revelation that ...
Sam and Emma host Dale Kretz, visiting assistant professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to discuss his recent book Administering Freedom: The State of Emancipation after the Freedmen's Bureau. First, Sam and Emma dive into updates on the US’ sanctions on Venezuela, ...
It's a special pre-Thanksgiving edition of ESVN OT! Emma and Bradley touch on Zach Wilson's benching heading into week 12, with a few NBA notes sprinkled in before they get to their picks! Follow the show on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ESVNShow Follow Emma and Bradley on ...