Natural Rebels: A Social History of Enslaved Black Women in Barbados
Although we are learning a lot from historians about the lives of slaves in the United States, we still know little about slavery in the Caribbean. Hilary Beckles's book on the social, economic, and labor history of slave women in Barbados, from the mid-seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth century, is a major addition to this literature. Drawing on contemporary documents and records, newspapers, and personal correspondence, Beckles reveals how slave women were central to the plantation economy of Barbados. They had two kinds of value for sugar planters: they could work just as hard as men, and they could literally reproduce the slave class.
Beckles details the daily lives of slave women in conditions of extreme exploitation. They suffered from harsh conditions, cruel punishments, malnutrition, disease, high mortality, and fear of abandonment when they were too old to work. He described the various categories and responsibilities of slaves, and the roles of children in the slave economy. Beckles looks at family structures and the complexities of interracial unions. He also shows how female slaves regularly resisted slavery, using both violent and nonviolent means. They never accommodated themselves to the system; as natural rebels, they fought in any way they could for survival.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
A Demographic Survey
Beasts of Burden
The Privileged Few
The Right to Trade
Breeding Wenches and Labour Supply Policies
Wives Mothers and Family Structure
Prostitutes and Mistresses
Other editions - View all
18th century African African-born Amy Lowell anti-slavery Barbadian Barbadian slave Barbados Bayley Beckles Bennett black women blue Bridgetown British West Indies Caribbean clouds Codrington estate colony considered Craton Creole culture Dickson domestic drivers economic Eleonora Duse elite Elizabeth enslaved evidence female slaves fertility field hands field women free coloured freedom garden girls green Higman History house women households housekeepers hucksters Ibid indentured servants infant island Jamaica Jenny John John Poyer Jubbah labour supply Lady Hamilton legislative Ligon lived London Lowell's male manumission maroonage Mary masters mistresses mothers mulatto Nanny negroes Newton Papers Pinckard planters poems poet poetry prostitutes punishment relations reproduction resistance Robert Haynes runaways Seawell's second gang sexual ships slave communities slave hucksters slave owners slave population slave society slave trade slave women slavery social sugar T'ai-po Thomas Lane University Press West Indian white women William wind woman