Name: Shanieka Dijonai English
Subject: Caribbean History
School: Convent of Mercy Academy “Alpha”
Teacher: Mrs. Susan Nelson-Bloomfield
The form of resistance being depicted in the picture is marronage. Another name for marronage is the running away of slaves from the plantation. If the colony had a dense population the runaways would go to the port towns where they would seek fake certificates to forge their freedom, which would give them an advantage of living with the Coloureds. In larger colonies slaves made their way into the middle of the island, which was mostly forested. Hidden villages were in this area, thus, the runaways were readily accepted. All homes, food items and cattle had to be abandoned if the militia or troops discovered the village. Most slave chose the uncertainty of freedom than the misery of slavery. Slaves in small colonies were at a disadvantage and their escape was not successful sometimes. In 1684 in the colony of Antigua the assembly posted two shillings for a live slave and 1 shilling for a dead one. Some runaway villages became very string or well hidden which prevented them from being easily destroyed. From this the most well known form of slavery resistance was born, which is known as marronage.
Over the two centuries, there was a daily resistance by the African men and women as they tried to gain control of their own lives and as well as sabotaging the property of their masters. There were multiple ways in which the slaves could stand up for themselves such as if the work loads increased, meager rations were provided, slaves were punished severely slaves showed their displeasure by working slowly, faking illness, destroying tools or sabotaging production. Those forms of resistance aggravated the master, but they could take little or no action because this could risk widespread breaks in production. A common way for slave resistance was theft. Slaves would steal small quantities of fruits, livestock, tobacco, liquor and money from their masters. The theft of food items was common and was reprimanded on several grounds. First slave rations were sometimes inadequate; hence, the master would draw what was stolen from him out of this portion leaving them with little or no food. The slave might be whipped or be executed if the master accused him/ her of theft. Newly arrived slaves would resist slavery by not answering to the names that the master gave them because they already had a name. Each African name had a specific meaning and taking this from them would be taking away a piece of their identity. Slaves who were on the plantation knew more effective ways in which they could resist slavery such as exaggerating injuries which would make it seem as if they are unfit for work. Those who were excellent at farming would damage the roots of the crop with out being found out which would prevent the master from getting a plentiful harvest. Women would delay from weaning their children until near their second birthday as they could. When the overseers or master demanded that they should go back to work they would tell them that this could lead to the death of the child – which would mean one less slave in the future years. Some women would fake pregnancies so that they would not have to work while the domestic female salves who cooked the master’s food or they would seduce the master and strangle them when they fell asleep. Some slaves would light the cane fields on fire when every one was asleep this would severely damage the income of the master. After lighting the cane fields the groups would then storm the great house and slaughter the master and his entire family. Then they would run away to form their own lively hood or seek jobs.
The master implicated multiple ways...
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