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Rebellion & Resistance: On the The Slave Ship and Beyond

This is the human history of what the great African-American scholar-activist W.E.B. DuBois called the "most magnificent drama in the last thousand years of human history" - "the transportation of ten million human beings out of the dark beauty of their mother continent into the new-found Eldorado of the West. They descended into Hell."

Expropriated from their native land, men and women were forced aboard a slave ship to be transported to a new world of work and exploitation, where they would likely produce sugar, tobacco, or rice, and make their owners wealthy. DuBois' magnificent drama was in fact a tragedy. Rediker's new book ( 'The Slave Ship: A Human History John Murray 2007) follows them onto the tall ships, those strange and powerful European machines that made it all possible. On the rolling decks of the slave ship, four distinct but related human dramas were staged, again and again, over the course of the long eighteenth century. Each was meaningful in its own day and again in ours. The players in these dramas were the ship captain, the motley crew, the multi-ethnic enslaved, and, toward the end of the period, middle-class abolitionists and the metropolitan reading public to whom they appealed in both Britain and America. Such dramas are the subject of the book presented in this workshop, written by the co-author of the award-winning The Many-Headed-Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic (Beacon Press, 2000).


Marcus Rediker | talks
Selma James | talks
Kólá Abímbólá | talks


Date and Time:

5 November 2007 at 6:00 pm


3 hours



Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
020 3073 8363

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Free - all welcome

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