A Quest for Dignity: Colored Women’s Anti-Slavery Resistance in the Eighteenth Century British Jamaica and the Reconceptualization of Human Rights
The public conception of the Human Rights struggle was a European originated post-WWII campaign, advocated by the white organization through the top-down executing system on the non-European country. Nonetheless, by historicized Human Rights struggle, I found that the concept of rights and the ways to reclaiming them evolved under the effects of time, culture, gender, class, and race. In the eighteenth and the nineteenth century, enslaved and fugitive black women of Jamaica continually asserted their humanities in the face of institutional exploitation through the day to day resistance, black communal and family solidarity, and organized revolts. This argument builds upon the legacies of the 1970s second-wave feminist scholars, Lucille Mathurin Mair and Barbara Bush, who challenged the invisibility of black women's anti-slavery resistance. Moreover, this research consults a variety of sources, such as ex-slave's autobiography, slave owner's journal, runaway slave advertisements, court record, and anthropology studies. Therefore, building on Mair and Bush, I argue that the black women of Jamaica not only demonstrated various anti-slavery efforts but also evoked the contemporary audience to see alternative narratives of the Human Rights stories with different means, conceptions, and participators. The rebelling black women of Jamaica showed that the Human Rights struggle was a long-lasted and frequently-varied way of living at both individual and community levels. Moreover, it was not the governmental legislation, but the humanity-declaring and cultural identity-asserting actions of every oppressed person that entitled the struggle for Human Rights. Such a new Human Rights perspective entitled and justified the struggles for a better life, rights, and dignity of any individual and community that was at the opposite of the dominating power.
Liu, Yuwei (Ada)
"A Quest for Dignity: Colored Women’s Anti-Slavery Resistance in the Eighteenth Century British Jamaica and the Reconceptualization of Human Rights,"
Of Life and History: Vol. 3, Article 6.
Available at: https://crossworks.holycross.edu/oflifeandhistory/vol3/iss1/6
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