“A strong barbaric accent” : America’s Dutch-speaking black community

"A strong barbaric accent” : America’s Dutch-speaking black community


8 December    
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre
Wilkins Building, UCL Campus, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

Event Type

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Although it is estimated that as late as the mid-eighteenth century some sixteen to twenty percent of the slaves in New York and New Jersey spoke (some) Dutch, very little research has been done on America’s Dutch-speaking black community. Despite the paucity of sources, this article attempts to provide an overview of the importance of the Dutch language for the black community from the seventeenth-century colony of New Netherland to nineteenth-century New York and New Jersey. It also raises the question of whether not only Dutch-speaking whites, but also blacks may have played a role in the transmission of Dutch linguistic elements into American English.

Speaker information

Jeroen Dewulf is the Director of the Institute for European Studies, University of California, Berkeley