Haitian Studies Association

Member Profile

Leslie Alexander

Arizona State University - Professor

Email: lmalexa3@asu.edu
Open to talking with: Anyone


Leslie Alexander is Associate Professor in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies and the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. A specialist in early African American and African Diaspora history, she received her B.A. from Stanford University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University. Dr. Alexander's current research project, “Fear of a Black Republic: African Americans, Haiti, and the Birth of Black Internationalism” examines how Black activists became involved in international movements for racial and social justice, and lobbied the United States government for changes in its policies towards African and African diasporic nations. Using Haiti as an illustrative example of early Black internationalism, this project charts the changing views Black leaders held about Haiti over the course of the nineteenth century. More specifically, it examines how and why the Haitian Revolution inspired Black activists, why Black leaders in the United States fought relentlessly to protect and defend Haitian independence, and how they pressured the U.S. government to grant Haiti diplomatic recognition. This study also delves deeply into the question of why the United States government denied Haiti's autonomy for several decades, and what the debate over Haitian independence revealed about the larger battle over race and slavery throughout the Atlantic World.