Crystal Eddins: Rituals, Runaways, and the Haitian Revolution

Crystal Nicole Eddins, Ph.D.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022
7 p.m.
Reception at 6 p.m.

Open to the public at no charge.
In person
Parking is free at this location.

The Union at Station West* (Backdrop Coffee)
919 Berryhill Road, Charlotte, NC 28208

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In oppressed populations, individuals often learn from each other about how to adopt the norms and behaviors that protect the group from harm. They also learn to foster microlevel interactions with each other, which can subvert the oppression in quiet ways. When they feel there is a window of opportunity for possible success, they can also work collectively to resist or outright revolt against the forces that have subdued them. It is a dynamic that is timeless, global, and relatable even in our city today.

Crystal Nicole Eddins, a professor of Africana Studies at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, will share her research on the Haitian Revolution, to illustrate these themes. Looking back to 18th century Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), she will explain the significance that sacred rituals and ‘marronnage,’ (communities of previously enslaved people living at the margin of slavery) had on collective consciousness and racial solidarity. She argues that these two elements of society proved essential to forming racial solidarity for the success of what has come to be known as the Haitian Revolution. Haiti is generally accepted to be the first country to be founded by former slaves.

Eddins is an assistant professor in the Department of Africana Studies at UNC Charlotte who researches and teaches on topics relating to African diaspora, sociology, social movements and contentious politics, race and ethnicity, women and gender, digital humanities, and the Caribbean of the 18th and 19th centuries. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the John Carter Brown Library, and the African American Intellectual History Society. Read more about her work.

All Personally Speaking published experts series events are hosted by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, with The Dubois Center at UNC Charlotte Center City and J. Murrey Atkins Library. During these community talks, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences faculty engage audiences in conversation about their research findings and describe the personal motivations for writing their books. The presentation may be recorded. The author welcomes questions and comments about her book, which is published by Cambridge University Press. Get a glimpse of the content here here or request the book from your local library.

Learn about the whole series at

*We are holding this event at The Union at Station West, in the FreeMoreWest Neighborhood on the West End of Charlotte. Station West was founded to create a truly communal space for the neighborhood, featuring partnerships between its food and beverage tenants and offering a large outdoor patio to foster engagement and conversation. It is accessible to Freedom Drive and walkable from the surrounding neighborhoods of Wesley Heights and Seversville. In this way, we are welcoming Charlotte community members to enjoy an evening with the University, at no charge, learning about our research and sharing ideas about the topic.