The conversation between Cornell University Africana Studies professor Carole Boyce Davies, and radical black activist Angela Davis went something like this:
“I am headed to Haiti,” Boyce Davies, a former Florida International University professor who divides her time between New York and South Florida.
“Haiti?” asked Davis, a fellow author and distinguished professor emerita of history of consciousness at University of California Santa Cruz. “I’ve never been.”
And so began the narrative between two scholars that led Davis, 72, to make her first visit to Haiti this week as the headliner of the biggest gathering of writers and scholars on the Caribbean ever to take place in the country.
“This is a historic meeting,” Boyce Davies said about the Caribbean Studies Association’s 41st annual conference that started Monday and runs through Saturday in Port-au-Prince at the Marriott hotel. “First, CSA has been everywhere in the Caribbean for 40 years and it’s never done Haiti. Given that it’s the first black Republic, there has been a real gap in our ability to say that we’re covering the entire Caribbean.”