Rudy, Arantxa, Gilberto and Minke all participated in the Xenolearn Book Club Fundraiser for Nederland Wordt Beter. Together, we read “We Slaven van Suriname” (We Slaves of Suriname) by Anton de Kom. De Kom’s book is an account of decolonial history, and reveals the experience of the oppressed across the Caribbean and adds to our understanding of struggles against slavery, imperialism and racism. In this round-table discussion, we discuss the story of Suriname and slavery, talk about our feelings reading the book, and connect the legacy of colonialism with systemic racism today. This episode is a fascinating glimpse into the power of dialogue and hearing different perspectives. You’ll feel awakened and inspired to educate yourself, take action and discover how you can support BIPOC communities and help to dismantle systemic racism.
We Slaves of Suriname tells the history of the formation of the former Dutch colony of Suriname in South America from the perspective of Anton De Kom, the son of a slave who became a tireless resistance fighter and a member of the Communist Party after the German occupation of the Netherlands in 1940. A key account of decolonialist history, We Slaves of Suriname integrates the experience of Suriname’s oppressed, multiethnic people into the greater history of South America and adds to the narrative of struggles against slavery, imperialism, and racism. In his scathingly defiant account, De Kom translates his personal anger at the brutal legacy of the Dutch into a beautiful, passionate history and call-to-arms.
We encourage readers to purchase their copy of “Wij Slaven van Suriname” through The Black Archives.
The Black Archives is a historical archive and cultural center where people can go for inspiring conversations, substantive activities and books from black and other perspectives that often remain underexposed elsewhere. The Black Archives is made up of several book collections, archives and artifacts that are the legacy of black writers and scientists. The more than 10,000 books in the collections are about racism and race issues, slavery and (de) colonization, gender and feminism, social sciences and development, Suriname, the Netherlands Antilles, South America, Africa and more. As a result, the collections offer literature that is not or little discussed within schools and universities.
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