African Slave Rebellion Book Report

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In the book, The Great African Slave Revolt of 1825, author Manuel Barcia examines a large slave revolt in a region known as Guamacaro. This was considered, “first large African led slave revolt in nineteenth century Cuba”. What is also significant about this revolt is that it also started a chain reaction of rebellions by Africans, which ceased after the Conspiracy of La Escalera in the 1840s. In the early 1760s, Britain had acquired Cuba during the Seven Years War. The British used the colony primarily for slave labor as well as slave trafficking. Once the British left the colony, it was then controlled by the Creole elites. With them in charge, the creoles hoped to control the large African population by keeping them enslaved, while pursuing…show more content…
By 1825, the author points out that slaves had already discussed ways in which to revolt against the Creoles. They were being oppressed by the Creoles, and were tired of the injustice. The leader of the revolt was Pablo Ganga. He had made connections with slaves in other parts of Guamacaro. Federico Carabali and Lorenzo Lucumi were also involved and were the ones who actually led the revolt. These two men were involved in the Cuban military and knew how to go about conducting the revolt. During the planning and spreading of news, slaves discussed the rebellion out in the open. The reason they were able to do this was because they used their own native ancestral languages, which Creoles did not recognize. The goal was to acquire “weapons on the estates they were supposed to attack and on recruitment tactics that left little or no room for self-determination to those who were invited to join the insurrection”. This is much different than the planning of the Demerara revolt, which invited almost every slave, regardless of weapons experience or absence of…show more content…
In Bahia, slaves were the backbone of the economy. According to Reis and Brakel, “slaves made up the great bulk of the laboring class and were political, social, and economic subordinates of the planters”. After Brazil became an independent nation, Bahia faced an economic downturn that led to declines in employment, as well as inflation. Due to these instabilities, there were small revolts that occurred from both the public and slaves. It was from these issues, that the 1835 rebellion would evolve. The rebels planned for the rebellion to take place on a Muslim holiday, known as Our Lady of Guidance. The holiday was on a Sunday in January. Another reason it was a good day to conduct it was because it was also a day of rest for slaves. They were told to wear Muslim clothes and even carried amulets, which were considered important in the blended African- Muslim faith. They also reached out to non-Muslims who could help them. The author also pointed out that the whole goal of the rebellion was not to conduct a jihad, as other writers have claimed in the past. It was actually designed in order to fight for freedom of all Africans, from both slavery, and the injustices of racial and social hierarchies. What influenced them the most was the earlier Haitian Revolution, which like many other slaves across Latin America

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