This is unusual for me. I have given readings and not lectures. I have told people who ask for lectures that I have no lecture to give. And that is true. It might seem strange that a man who has dealt in words and emotions and ideas for nearly fifty years shouldn't have a few to spare, so to speak. But everything of value about me is in my books.... Nobel Lecture December 7, 2001.
Particular countries go to great lengths to establish proprietary rights to certain spirits. Americans quite properly lay claim to Bourbon; the Scotch and Irish to Whisky, the French to Champagne and Cognac, the Japanese to Sake, the Russians to Vodka, and “Genever” is quite definitely Dutch. Who, on the other hand, can claim rum?
Over the years, I have had dozens of conversations on the question of whether Caribbean history “really matters” and for whom it matters. I’ve heard the region’s history dismissed due to the relative size of Caribbean societies, historians’ supposedly excessive preoccupation with slavery, and a questioning of what lessons can be learned from such allegedly dysfunctional societies.
At the beginning in Africa, voodoo was there, more specifically in West Africa around Nigeria, Togo and Benin. Some anthropologists trace the origin of voodoo to 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. It was brought into Haiti, then St Domingue, through the Middle Passage around 1517 when Las Casas negotiated a permit from the King of Spain to start selling permits to transport black Africans to the Western Hemisphere.