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Spring 2023 Anschutz Lecture | Talk to Me: A Story of Racial Capitalism, Coup, and Democracy

Rich Benjamin, Anschutz Distinguished Fellow, Effron Center for the Study of America

April 13, 2023 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · A17 Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building

Effron Center for the Study of America

This presentation excavates the life and times of Daniel Fignolé, a spell-binding orator and one-time president of Haiti. A political and rhetorical daredevil, he was one of the most charismatic, popular figures in that country’s history — and the father of its labor movement. But in June 1957, just weeks into his presidency, Fignolé was ousted in a CIA-backed coup, which brought to power one of the 20th century’s bloodiest dictators. Fignolé, in his paradoxical narrative cycle, grew up under U.S.-occupied Haiti, but was expelled to America as an adult Cold War refugee. And so, this lecture also examines critical, foundational questions about this country’s own modern body politic, ranging from “Eisenhower’s America” to democracy in the age of Trumpism.

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