Aisha Finch’s Rethinking Slave Rebellion in Cuba Wins the Lapidus Center’s First Annual Harriet Tubman Prize

The Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery is delighted to announce that Aisha K. Finch’s Rethinking Slave Rebellion in Cuba: La Escalera and the Insurgencies of 1841-1844 is the winner of its first annual Harriet Tubman Prize.The $7,500 prize is awarded to the best nonfiction book published in the United States on the slave trade, slavery, and anti-slavery in the Atlantic World.finch-2

A jury of three—Kathleen Bethel, African American Studies Librarian at Northwestern University; Greg Grandin, award-winning Professor of History at New York University; and Charles R. Johnson, award-winning novelist, essayist, playwright and Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing and English at the University of Washington—selected the winner from five finalists chosen by a committee of eleven librarians and scholars.

In Rethinking Slave Rebellion, published by The University of North Carolina Press, the jury saw a “nuanced, deeply researched, and precisely rendered” account of the events.“With a textured reading of the gendered dynamics of the revolt, based on voluminous judicial documents, and a penetrating analysis of the broader social and political consequences of the uprising and its brutal repression, Rethinking Slave Rebellion is both timely and timeless, sure to take its place among the great works on Atlantic World slavery.”

finch_photo-1Finch, an Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, said she was truly honored to be the first recipient of the prize. She added, “This prize represents the Lapidus Center’s profound commitment to shifting the ways in which we think about fundamental concepts such as ‘the human,’ ‘the modern,’ and ‘the west.’  I am humbled and honored to be part of this intellectual legacy, especially one that stands on the shoulders of the radical anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman. I feel enormously privileged to receive a prize that bears her name.”

The award will be presented to Aisha Finch on December 12, 2016 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.