Black Rebels: African Caribbean Freedom Fighters in Jamaica

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Editorial Reviews

Zips (University of Vienna) details the history of African-Caribbeans who escaped from slavery and developed autonomous societies beyond the colonial system. He blends standard ethnography with conventional history, often vividly capturing the musical voices of the Jamaica Maroons. He brings study of Maroon society up through the 20th century, and questions many assertions by past reporters and current scholars on the culture, economy, and politics of Maroon society. Includes color photos of celebrations in a Maroon village, and b&w historical illustrations. Lacks a subject index. (Note: the publisher has corrected an ISBN confusion: this and another title, , were both inadvertently designated as 1-55876-167-5.) Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Choice Magazine
In this study of the Maroons of Jamaica, Zips skillfully combines the critical analysis of historical documents, oral history, and ethnography based on his fieldwork in the 1980s. Originating in the 17th century, Jamaican Maroons created several remote communities, fought British colonizers to a standstill, and negotiated treaties in the 18th century that have preserved their independence to the present. Contrary to Mavis Campbell, who that the treaties constituted a "betrayal" of their struggle for freedom because they agreed to collaborate in returning escaped slaves, Zips contends that their "separatist" politics, by shifting from a strategy of military to diplomatic resistance, succeeded in achieving their goals. Consequently, he identifies the Maroons as precursors of Marcus Garvey's movement, Rastafarianism, and other 20th-century movements of cultural resistance that reject domination by Europeans and focus positively on their African identity and heritage. The book is clearly written and has a good bibliography. Recommended for any person or program examining the history and culture of Africans in the Americas or for colonial and postcolonial studies.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558762138
  • Publisher: Wiener, Markus Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 292
  • Sales rank: 1,017,438

Table of Contents

Foreword vii
Preface xi
I. Introduction 1
II. Bitter and Sweet--Whip for the Blacks and Sugar for the Whites 21
III. "Bush, Bush no Have no Whip": Sociocultural Bases and Forms of Resistance 39
IV. A War with Unequal Weapons: Maroons Versus the English Colonial Power 69
V. "In the Spirit of Freedom": Cultural, Social, and Ideological Characteristics of Maroon Communities 127
VI. "Chant Down Babylon": Cultural Resistance in Jamaica Today 207
Concluding Remarks 237
Notes 243
Bibliography 266
Glossary 291
Photo Credits 291
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