A Time Magazine with James Baldwin
Wow, today I went through some of the boxes which were left behind by Otto Huiswoud in the dusty attic of Vereniging Ons Suriname. I found a New York Times newspaper describing from 1957 the desegragation of the school in Little Rock Arkansas, a Time Magazine with James Baldwin on the cover and more interesting historical items. Great stuff!
By Mitchell Esajas
Langston Hughes's Beautiful Poem
Okayyy...so today historical sociologist Melissa Weiner from the US paid a visit to the library / archive of Vereniging Ons Suriname. Whilst casually going through some of the boxes from the collection of Otto Huiswoud we found a few signed books from the poet Langston Hughes and a few other historical books and newspapers. Apparantly Otto Huiswoud and Langston Hughes knew eachother quite well. Beautiful unexplored history and hidden treasures...
He once wrotes this beautiful poem:
"Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow."
Kathleen Cleaver and Black European Solidarity
Another step forward and an another interesting find at the Vereniging Ons Suriname archive / New Urban Café / black library... After installing the first bookshelves for the collection of books and archives I randomly opened one of the dusty boxes with a folders with old papers. After turning a few pages I found a letter signed by Kathleen Cleaver on behalf of the Black Panther Party to the European Black Panther Party Solidarity Committee from 1970. Scrolling through the papers I found letters of correspondence between the Surinamese students union and the Trinidadian writer CLR James who wrote among others "the Black Jacobins" about the Haitian Revolution. Apparently he had several speaking engagements in Amsterdam and the Hague.
We found a lot of letters and documents condemning American imperialism through the Vietnam war and American multinationals in Surinam. We found invitations and letters of correspondence between the Surinamese students, Antillean students and African student unions in London, Ghana and Ethiopia mentioning how assissination of Lumumba and how western powers tried to destabilize the Decolonizing countries. And we found lots of telegrams with expressions of solidarity with different movements such as a hunger strikes in Mexico in the 50s and 60s...
Again its amazing to see how connected these Surinamese students were with other oppressed people across the world. The fact that their hand written notes are still here 50 years later shows how organized they were and their revolutionary mindset become apparent from the letters and activities they were engaged in. So it strikes me that much of this history has remained hidden in dusty boxes on this attic...
Guess its time to bring this history and these stories into the present again cause it was already inspiring for us to see these documents which prove that former generations already had the spirit of resistance and revolution...as CLR James once wrote:
"The process of revolution is essentially the process of people finding themselves."
By Mitchell Esajas
Blogs door the Black Archives
De expositie is van donderdag t/m zaterdag te bezoeken. Om de veiligheid en gezondheid te waarborgen dienen alle bezoekers de 1,5 meter richtlijnen te volgen. Neem contact op via contactformulier voor rondleidingen buiten het programma.
Every other Saturday you can join a tour in The Black Archives. You can visit our exhibition from Thursday to Saturday, see current visiting hours and tours on our page 'Tours & Exhibition'. Check the website for our event schedule or contact us via the contact form.
Momenteel beschikt The Black Archives niet over een speciale ingang en lift voor personen met een fysieke beperking en voor rolstoelgebruikers. Er is een traplift bij grotere evenement bij ingang 19A. Wij zijn bewust dat het gebouw niet volledig toegankelijk is. Wil u bijdragen om het gebouw wel toegankelijk te maken? Stuur een mail naar firstname.lastname@example.org w/ 'toegankelijkheid gebouw’.
At this moment, The Black Archives does not have a special entrance or lift for person of disability. There is a stairlift available during our events at Zeeburgerdijk 19A. We are aware that the building is not accessible, but we are currently looking for funding. Do you want to contribute to making the building more accessible? Send a mail to email@example.com w/ 'accessibility building’.