58. A Common Circle: Anténor Firmin

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Haitian anthropologist Anténor Firmin debunks racist pseudo-science and argues that inequalities among humans are caused by social, not biological, factors.



Further Reading

• S. Charles (trans.), Anténor Firmin: The Equality of the Human Races (New York: 2000).

• A. Firmin, De l’égalité des races humaines (Paris: 1885).

• A. Firmin, Lettres de Saint-Thomas: Etudes sociologiques, historiques et litteraires (Port au-Prince: 1986).


• R. Bernasconi, “A Haitian in Paris: Anténor Firmin as a Philosopher against Racism,” Patterns of Prejudice 42 (2008), 365-83.

• Y. Chemla, “Louis-Joseph Janvier, écrivain national,” Francofonia 49 (2005), 7-36.

• T.J. Curry, “From Rousseau’s Theory of Natural Equality to Firmin’s Resistance to the Historical Inequality of Races,” CLR James Journal 15 (2009), 135-63.

• M.J. Dash, “Nineteenth-Century Haiti and the Archipelago of the Americas: Antenor Firmin’s Letters from St. Thomas,” Research in African Literatures 35 (2004), 44-53.

• D.W. Leonard, “Writing Against the Grain: Anténor Firmin and the Refutation of Nineteenth-Century European Race Science,” in K. Radcliffe (ed.) Anywhere But Here: Black Intellectuals in the Atlantic World and Beyond (Jackson: 2014), 27-46.

• C. Fluehr-Lobban, “Anténor Firmin: Haitian Pioneer of Anthropology,” American Anthropologist 102 (2000), 449-66.

• G. Magloire-Danton, “Anténor Firmin and Jean Price-Mars: Revolution, Memory, Humanism,” Small Axe 18 (2005), 150-70.

• J. Price-Mars, Joseph Anténor Firmin (Haiti: 1964).

A special issue of the Journal of Pan-African Studies on Firmin


deng on 3 June 2024


It seems that all the Africana philosopohy podcasts could not be listened on-line. Nor can they be downloaded. Is this a technical problem?

In reply to by deng

Peter Adamson on 3 June 2024

Technical problem

Hm, I'm not sure - the streaming seems to work here on this page for example? Maybe it is a problem at your end because we haven't had any other messages that there is a problem.

Hannah G Homer on 7 June 2024


Is there any way to download a transcript of the podcast?

In reply to by Hannah G Homer

Peter Adamson on 7 June 2024


We do transcripts for the interview episodes - for the scripted ones we revise them and publish them as a book. But if you want just this episode because you are especially interested, I’d be happy to send that along via email? I just don’t want them to circulate generally in unpolished form prior to the book versions coming out.

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