“Christmas and Resistance to Slavery in the Americas”: Yesenia Barragan

“Christmas and Resistance to Slavery in the Americas”: Yesenia Barragan December 29, 2016

for the African-American Intellectual History Society:

The Christmas season also gave way to the largest slave rebellion in the history of the British Caribbean known as the Christmas Rebellion (or the Baptist War). During ten days in late December 1831 into January 1832, nearly 60,000 slaves (about 20% of the enslaved population of 300,000) led by the black Baptist preacher Samuel Sharpe went on strike and rebelled against plantation owners, demanding freedom and higher wages. According to Michael Craton’s Testing the Chains: Resisting Slavery in the British West Indies (1982), about 500 slaves were brutally killed by the end of the Christmas Rebellion, which Craton argues accelerated the process of emancipation in the British Caribbean.

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