Upcoming Event

Vincent Brown [CANCELED]

presents

Tacky's Revolt:
The Story of an Atlantic Slave War

Please Note: This event has been canceled

Date

Apr
17
Friday
April 17, 2020
3:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Update

This event has been canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience.


Harvard Book Store welcomes VINCENT BROWN—Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard University and author of The Reaper's Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery—for a discussion of his latest book, Tacky's Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War.

About Tacky's Revolt

In the second half of the eighteenth century, as European imperial conflicts extended the domain of capitalist agriculture, warring African factions fed their captives to the transatlantic slave trade while masters struggled continuously to keep their restive slaves under the yoke. In this contentious atmosphere, a movement of enslaved West Africans in Jamaica (then called Coromantees) organized to throw off that yoke by violence. Their uprising―which became known as Tacky’s Revolt―featured a style of fighting increasingly familiar today: scattered militias opposing great powers, with fighters hard to distinguish from noncombatants. It was also part of a more extended borderless conflict that spread from Africa to the Americas and across the island. Even after it was put down, the insurgency rumbled throughout the British Empire at a time when slavery seemed the dependable bedrock of its dominion. That certitude would never be the same, nor would the views of black lives, which came to inspire both more fear and more sympathy than before.

Tracing the roots, routes, and reverberations of this event across disparate parts of the Atlantic world, Vincent Brown offers us a superb geopolitical thriller. Tacky’s Revolt expands our understanding of the relationship between European, African, and American history, as it speaks to our understanding of wars of terror today.

Praise for Tacky's Revolt

“Brilliant . . . groundbreaking . . . Brown’s profound analysis and revolutionary vision of the Age of Slave War—from the too-often overlooked Tacky’s Revolt to the better-known Haitian Revolution—gives us an original view of the birth of modern freedom in the New World.” —Cornel West

“Brown’s brilliant analysis reveals how slave rebellions across the Americas depended upon experienced combatants captured in African conflicts and then sold to Europeans, refuting the canard that slave traders gathered their victims randomly. While tracing the relationships between African warfare and uprisings in the Americas, Brown offers beautifully written portraits of those who survived the crushing forces of colonial imperialism and fought for freedom. Above all else, this astute and comprehensive book is about agency.” —Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

“A sobering read for contemporary audiences in countries engaged in forever wars, reminding us how easily and arbitrarily the edges of empire, and its evils, can fade from or focus our vision. It is also a useful reminder that the distinction between victory and defeat, when it comes to insurgencies, is often fleeting: Tacky may have lost his battle, but the enslaved did eventually win the war.” —Casey Cep, New Yorker

Vincent Brown
Vincent Brown

Vincent Brown

Vincent Brown is Charles Warren Professor of American History and Professor of African and African American Studies. He directs the History Design Studio and teaches courses in Atlantic history, African diaspora studies, and the history of slavery in the Americas. Brown is the author of The Reaper's Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery and producer of Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness, an audiovisual documentary broadcast on the PBS series Independent Lens.

photo credit: Sharona Jacobs

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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