- Yale University Press
A Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica
- Brooke N Newman
- Yale University Press
- 9.3 X 6.8 X 1.3 inches
- 1.4 pounds
- History > Modern - 17th Century
A major reassessment of the development of race and subjecthood in the British Atlantic
Focusing on Jamaica, Britain's most valuable colony in the Americas by the mid-eighteenth century, this book explores the relationship between racial classifications and the inherited rights and privileges associated with British subject status. Brooke Newman reveals the centrality of notions of blood and blood mixture to evolving racial definitions and sexual practices in colonial Jamaica and to legal and political debates over slavery and the rights of imperial subjects on both sides of the Atlantic.
Weaving together a diverse range of sources, Newman shows how colonial racial ideologies rooted in fictions of blood ancestry at once justified permanent, hereditary slavery for Africans and barred members of certain marginalized groups from laying claim to British liberties on the basis of hereditary status. This groundbreaking study demonstrates that challenges to an Atlantic slave system underpinned by distinctions of blood had far-reaching consequences for British understandings of race, gender, and national belonging.
Brooke Newman is a historian of early modern Britain and the British Atlantic, with current special interest in the history of slavery, the abolition movement, and the British royal family.
She’s the author of A Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica (Yale University Press, 2018), which received the Gold Medal for World History in the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards, was a finalist for the 2019 Frederick Douglass Book Prize awarded by the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale University, and was named a 2019 Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine. She is also the co-editor of Native Diasporas: Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in the Americas (University of Nebraska Press, 2014).
Her research has been extensively supported by distinguished institutions on both sides of the Atlantic, including, most recently, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library and the Omohundro Institute and Georgian Papers Programme for research in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle.
Dr. Newman’s current book project, “Subjects of the Crown: Slavery, Emancipation, and the British Monarchy,” chronicles the evolving policies and attitudes of the British Crown and prominent members of the royal family toward imperial rule, slavery and the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans, and abolition between 1660 and 1860.
Source: Virginia Commonwealth University
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