The Black Atlantic: Enslavement and Resistance, Rebellions & Revolutions
Time: 11:00 - 13:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HWH53
Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)
Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.
What is the course about?
The Black Atlantic offers a rich past with several dimensions to unearth that cut across a wide range of experiences and projects across several centuries spanning, for example, not only family and community life along with art and music but also resistance against enslavement, racism and empire.
This resistance was manifest in everything. From ship revolts to everyday acts of resistance like sabotage, running away and vodou and obeah curses, to Tacky and Bussa’s rebellions, to the Maroon Wars and the Haitian Revolution, Africans constantly fought both the trade of enslaved people and enslavement in the Caribbean.
We will consider the ways in which enslaved people organized and executed rebellions, wars and revolutions, and how a cycle of resistance by enslaved people and extreme retaliatory violence by the colonial authorities became characteristic of plantation life in the Caribbean.
We will learn about the lives of the most charismatic rebels of the 1700s and 1800s, including Queen Nanny, the successful leader of the Windward Maroons; the vodou practitioner Mackandal; the Haitian General, Toussaint Louverture; and the Baptist preacher, Samuel Sharpe, whose organized peaceful protests turned into one of the largest rebellions by enslaved people in Jamaica’s history.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• Overview of the trade of enslaved people, enslavement & the treatment of rebellious enslaved
• Revolts on ships by enslaved people
• Everyday acts of resistance
• The Maroon Wars, Jamaica
• Prince Klaas & Antigua
• Tacky, obeah & warfare, Jamaica
• Jack Mansong’s Rebellion, Jamaica
• Mackandal, Vodou & Haitian folklore
• The Haitian Revolution
• Bussa’s Rebellion, Barbados
• The Baptist Wars, Jamaica.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Assess the extent of the success of acts of resistance, rebellions and revolutions carried out by enslaved people
- Evaluate how everyday acts of resistance impacted on economies dependent on enslaved people
- Explain the uses of obeah and vodou in warfare, rebellions & acts of resistance
- Assess the significance of the Maroon wars and the impact of Maroon culture on Jamaica
- Evaluate the significance of the Haitian Revolution & how the revolution led to the creation of an independent state by former enslaved.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Everyone is welcome. This is an introductory course and no prior knowledge of the topic is necessary. An open-mind and a willingness to contribute to discussions is all that is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught via interactive lectures, class discussions and debates. Google Classroom will be available with optional book reading and articles if you wish to further your knowledge. Further reading is encouraged to help you to get the most out of the course, but it is not mandatory.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No. Readings will be available on Google Classroom. Please bring a pen and notepad, or diogital equivalent, if you wish to make notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Please explore our website for additional courses on the history of the Americas, Africa and Europe in summer and autumn.