The Archaeology of Anti-Slavery Resistance by Terrance M. Weik

By Terrance M. Weik

“Weik’s entire survey of the archaeology of freedom represents a severe contribution to African Diaspora reports, and serves as an admirable usual to which destiny examine during this quarter should still attempt to achieve.”—Maria Franklin, college of Texas at Austin
“Offers a clean method of knowing the numerous ways that enslaved humans sought freedom.”—Theresa Singleton, Syracuse University
In the times of slavery, humans of African descent sought to guard their human rights, get away from bondage, and strive against exploitation. Their activities different throughout diversified settings and instances, and incorporated lodging, collaboration, autonomy, and militancy. This quantity specializes in the evolution of antislavery resistance via analyzing fabric tradition, files, oral traditions, and different proof that illustrate how enslaved humans fought for his or her freedom.

Terrance Weik provides readers with case stories amassed from the cloth checklist left through Maroons within the Americas, Black Seminoles, and the Underground Railroad. He in particular highlights the way in which archaeologists’ contributions have extra to our knowing of struggles for freedom from slavery that have been pursued by way of humans of the African Diaspora within the Americas and their allies.

Weik encourages readers to contemplate the worldwide dimensions of antislavery resistance in addition to matters that proceed to spark debate at the present time, together with racism, cultural survival, self-determination, and inequality.

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Freedom, the philosophies argued, was a condition for emancipated citizens to exercise their faculties of reason and moral choice; romantic thinkers, while accepting this as a matter of principle, celebrated freedom as the prerequisite of artistic creation and as the essence of historical process. Both movements faced a problem (and proposed various solutions): How could they maintain these convictions in the face of necessity (of natural law) and destiny (as embodied in tradition)? To make a long story short, the tragedy of anthropology has been that, in its desire to establish itself as a science (or because of being pressured by the powers that be), it came to approach its subject .

Indeed, the legacy of slavery can be seen in modern homes in the form of sugar. This product rose to global prominence with the aid of slave labor, and today it is generally found on the labels of packaged foods, though its overconsumption has had costly effects on human health (it is linked to a higher incidence of type II diabetes, among other problems). Specialized markets foster trade in this commodity, and a number of countries depend on the agro-industrial complexes that use sugar to service the human food supply.

While harsh forms of bondage did exist in Africa, there were also cases (for instance among the Yoruba) where some towns within slave-trading regions prohibited slavery (Reis and Mamigonian 2005: 92). Another representation of antislavery resistance involves a Yoruba cultural heroine named Moremi, who is celebrated in oral traditions and festivals in Nigeria and the United States. Moremi is credited with helping to end the enslavement of her people (from the city of Ife) by infiltrating her enemies’ settlement and then divulging their foes’ attack plans to her peers.

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