A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery and Resistance

Stella Abasa Dadzie

Book cover for A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery and Resistance
Book cover for A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery and Resistance
Book cover for A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery and Resistance
Book cover for A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery and Resistance

A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery and Resistance

A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery and Resistance

Stella Abasa Dadzie

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Description

The story of the enslaved West Indian women in the struggle for freedom

The forgotten history of women slaves and their struggle for liberation. Enslaved West Indian women had few opportunities to record their stories for posterity. In this riveting work of historical reclamation, Stella Dadzie recovers the lives of women who played a vital role in developing a culture of slave resistance across the Caribbean.

Dadzie follows a savage trail from Elmina Castle in Ghana and the horrors of the Middle Passage, as slaves were transported across the Atlantic, to the sugar plantations of Jamaica and beyond. She reveals women who were central to slave rebellions and liberation. There are African queens, such as Amina, who led a 20,000-strong army. There is Mary Prince, sold at twelve years old, never to see her sisters or mother again. Asante Nanny the Maroon, the legendary obeah sorceress, who guided the rebel forces in the Blue Mountains during the First Maroon War.

Whether responding to the horrendous conditions of plantation life, the sadistic vagaries of their captors or the "peculiar burdens of their sex," their collective sanity relied on a highly subversive adaptation of the values and cultures they smuggled from their lost homes. By sustaining or adapting remembered cultural practices, they ensured that the lives of chattel slaves retained both meaning and purpose. A Kick in the Belly makes clear that subtle acts of insubordination and conscious acts of rebellion came to undermine the very fabric of West Indian slavery.

About the Author

Stella Dadzie is best known for her co-authorship of The Heart of the Race: Black Women's Lives in Britain, which won the 1985 Martin Luther King Award for Literature, and was recently re-published by Verso in the Feminist Classics series. She is a founding member of OWAAD (Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent), a national umbrella group that emerged in the late 1970s as part of the British civil rights movement, and was recently described as one of the "grandmothers" of Black Feminism in the UK. Her career as a teacher, writer, artist and education activist spans over 40 years.

Publishing Information

Publisher: Verso
Pub date: 2020-10-20
Length: 224 pages
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