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date: 06 August 2020

Grig, Nanny locked

  • Dawn Harris


enslaved Creole of African descent known for her role in the 1816 rebellion in Barbados, was born in the 1700s in Barbados. Her name also appears in historical documents as “Nanny Grigg.” A domestic on the Simmons Plantation in St. Philip, Barbados, Grig has been characterized by the historian Hilary Beckles (1999) as a woman who “took liberties” and was the “principal conceptualiser and ideologue of the 1816 rebellion” in Barbados (p. 163). Although Beckles situates Grig’s participation in the revolt as a performance in the politics of freedom and as an example of “matriarchal leadership,” Grig’s participation was more than this. Indeed, she challenged the conception of black women as little more than brute labor for an insatiable plantation economy and as easy sexual targets for voracious plantation owners.

In most histories of slave revolts particularly those characterized as violent or involving some type of warfare the ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography.

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