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Cudjoe  

Alonford James Robinson

The life and death of the Jamaican maroon (fugitive slave), Cudjoe, has become a symbol of black resistance in Jamaica. Cudjoe's story as the eighteenth century leader of the Clarendon maroons has also been a contested part of Jamaican history. Early European descriptions painted a caricatured portrait of him, while black recollections portrayed him as a fearless soldier.

Cudjoe was among more than 500 African-born slaves in the Jamaican parish of St. Clarendon who escaped after a violent insurrection in 1690. Cudjoe emerged as leader of a loose confederation of runaway slaves who lived in the Clarendon hills. The Clarendon maroons, led by Cudjoe, organized themselves into small gangs that secretly wandered into white towns to steal food and weapons.

Even though the Clarendon maroons were disunited they became skilled soldiers and expert marksmen Under Cudjoe s leadership they defended their freedom in a series of small skirmishes ...

Article

Jean Mutaba Rahier

Sebastián Alonso de Illescas was a ladino slave (a slave who had lived for some time in Spain, who could speak Spanish, and who had been baptized). He had taken the name of his Spanish owner after his confirmation in Seville. In 1553 he and twenty-two other slaves were embarked with merchandise on a ship going to the Peruvian port of Callao, where colonization was burgeoning. During the trip between Panama and Callao, a strong thunderstorm wrecked the ship against the reefs off the coast of the Ecuadorian province of Esmeraldas. The slaves killed the Spanish crew, then escaped into the forest, where they developed what some historians have called the Republic of Zambos. (A zamba[o] is a mixed-race person from both African and Native American ancestry.)

Under the group's first leader, Anton the maroons grew to dominate indigenous communities in the region The maroons took ...

Article

Aaron Myers

In the first half of the nineteenth century, the northeastern region of Brazil experienced a large number of slave revolts. Historians attribute the high incidence of slave rebellions at this time to the growth of the Sugar industry, the intensified importation of African slaves, the fact that many of these slaves shared a common language and culture, and the increasing demands made of slave labor, among other factors. These conditions encouraged many slaves to run away and form isolated communities known as quilombos. Alone or in cooperation with the free black or enslaved populations, quilombo members planned and carried out rebellions against the slaveholding society. The insurrection led by Zeferina in December 1826 was just one of some twenty revolts that occurred in the northeastern state of Bahia between 1807 and 1835.

Zeferina was a member of the Urubu (Vulture) quilombo located just outside of Bahia's capital, Salvador ...

Article

Zumbi  

Aaron Myers

Zumbi, the most vehement opponent of slavery in colonial Brazil, is closely linked with the settlement of Palmares, established by escaped slaves in Brazil's northeastern state of Alagoas. Escaped slaves first settled in this mountainous, forested region sometime between the end of the sixteenth century and the early years of seventeenth century. Because of the abundance of palms, the settlement became known as Palmares. During the Dutch occupation of northeastern Brazil (1630–1654), Palmares received a large number of fugitive slaves and grew into a formidable, populous federation of villages covering a vast area of land from northern Alagoas to southern Pernambuco. Palmares' sophisticated fortifications and well-equipped defense force enabled it to resist repeated military incursions following the expulsion of the Dutch until it was finally conquered in 1694 The story of Zumbi is closely tied to Palmares the largest and longest lasting quilombo in the history ...