Troubling Freedom: Antigua and the Aftermath of British Emancipation

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9780822360070: Troubling Freedom: Antigua and the Aftermath of British Emancipation
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In 1834 Antigua became the only British colony in the Caribbean to move directly from slavery to full emancipation. Immediate freedom, however, did not live up to its promise, as it did not guarantee any level of stability or autonomy, and the implementation of new forms of coercion and control made it, in many ways, indistinguishable from slavery. In Troubling Freedom Natasha Lightfoot tells the story of how Antigua's newly freed black working people struggled to realize freedom in their everyday lives, prior to and in the decades following emancipation. She presents freedpeople's efforts to form an efficient workforce, acquire property, secure housing, worship, and build independent communities in response to elite prescriptions for acceptable behavior and oppression. Despite its continued efforts, Antigua's black population failed to convince whites that its members were worthy of full economic and political inclusion. By highlighting the diverse ways freedpeople defined and created freedom through quotidian acts of survival and occasional uprisings, Lightfoot complicates conceptions of freedom and the general narrative that landlessness was the primary constraint for newly emancipated slaves in the Caribbean. 

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About the Author:

Natasha Lightfoot is Associate Professor of History at Columbia University.

Review:

"By tracing the development of Antigua in the post-emancipation period, Lightfoot has produced a work that will interest scholars who study conceptions of freedom, working-class solidarity, labor, Antigua, and the wider Caribbean. Recommended." (J. Rankin Choice 2016-09-01)

"Lightfoot’s Troubling Freedom sheds light on how freedpeople in Antigua negotiated the terms of their labor and the conditions of their freedom in Antigua....The book also illustrates that space and spatial relations were at the heart of Antiguans’ struggle for freedom after emancipation: between Antigua and Barbuda, the city and the country, the free villages and estates." (Kaneesha Cherelle Parsard American Quarterly 2016-12-19)

"Instead of a 'narrative of valiant and unified subaltern struggle,’ a moral tale of progress and expanding unproblematic liberation, Lightfoot offers a more complex and ambivalent history of freedom, which contains not only hope and solidarity, but also internecine conflicts and violence. For this very reason, this is an important and insightful history that deserves to be read." (Henrique Espada Lima Canadian Journal of History 2017-08-01)

"[Lightfoot's] deep examination of the daily lives of working class Antiguans and their views on freedom makes Troubling Freedom an excellent primer for scholars of the Caribbean. This book also provides a model for scholars of the African diaspora interested in a rereading of the agency of different social groups through older sources." (Caree A. Banton History: Reviews of New Books 2017-01-13)

"Natasha Lightfoot offers a compelling history of the relationship between labor, race, and gender in the only British sugar colony to reject the apprenticeship program. Lightfoot provides readers with a study that is deeply appreciative of the ways in which freedpeople confronted new forms of white supremacy and material constraint after slavery’s demise. What emerges is a multilayered analysis of the relationship between everyday violence, organized resistance, and collective consciousness in nineteenth-century Antigua." (James Dator American Historical Review 2017-04-01)

"Lightfoot’s carefully and deeply researched and subtly analysed study makes a valuable contribution to the literature on the transition to formal freedom in the British Caribbean." (Bridget Brereton Slavery & Abolition 2017-03-01)

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In 1834 Antigua became the only British colony in the Caribbean to move directly from slavery to full emancipation. Immediate freedom, however, did not live up to its promise, as it did not guarantee any level of stability or autonomy, and the implementation of new forms of coercion and control made it, in many ways, indistinguishable from slavery. In Troubling Freedom Natasha Lightfoot tells the story of how Antigua's newly freed black working people struggled to realize freedom in their everyday lives, prior to and in the decades following emancipation. She presents freedpeople's efforts to form an efficient workforce, acquire property, secure housing, worship, and build independent communities in response to elite prescriptions for acceptable behavior and oppression. Despite its continued efforts, Antigua's black population failed to convince whites that its members were worthy of full economic and political inclusion. By highlighting the diverse ways freedpeople defined and created freedom through quotidian acts of survival and occasional uprisings, Lightfoot complicates conceptions of freedom and the general narrative that landlessness was the primary constraint for newly emancipated slaves in the Caribbean. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780822360070

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1834 Antigua became the only British colony in the Caribbean to move directly from slavery to full emancipation. Immediate freedom, however, did not live up to its promise, as it did not guarantee any level of stability or autonomy, and the implementation of new forms of coercion and control made it, in many ways, indistinguishable from slavery. In Troubling Freedom Natasha Lightfoot tells the story of how Antigua s newly freed black working people struggled to realize freedom in their everyday lives, prior to and in the decades following emancipation. She presents freedpeople s efforts to form an efficient workforce, acquire property, secure housing, worship, and build independent communities in response to elite prescriptions for acceptable behavior and oppression. Despite its continued efforts, Antigua s black population failed to convince whites that its members were worthy of full economic and political inclusion. By highlighting the diverse ways freedpeople defined and created freedom through quotidian acts of survival and occasional uprisings, Lightfoot complicates conceptions of freedom and the general narrative that landlessness was the primary constraint for newly emancipated slaves in the Caribbean. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780822360070

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