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African slavery in the Americas has left indelible marks on the geographical, political, economic, social and cultural landscapes of the Americas. An important part of that indelibility is marronage that involved both flight from slavery and the establishment of free communities. This book is about the struggles of enslaved Africans in the Americas who achieved freedom through flight and the establishment of Maroon communities in the face of overwhelming military odds on the part of the slaveholders. Incontestably, Maroon communities constituted the first independent polities from European colonial rule in the hemisphere, even if the colonial states did not accord them legal recognition. They had their own independent political, economic and social structures, and occupied definitive land spaces that they often contested with the colonial state and won. This study demonstrates how they utilized the natural landscape and modified it to guard their freedom, and also indicates the dangers that complacency, authoritarianism and militarism posed to that freedom. Thompson reassesses several interpretations that have informed the discourse on marronage. While useful monographs exist on the subject, no study to date has attempted to provide the pan-American scope that is critical to understanding the role of marronage in the struggle of the hemisphere's enslaved population for freedom and dignity.
|Flight to Freedom.pdf||4.097 MB|