By Alexander X. Byrd
Jamestown and Plymouth function iconic photos of British migration to the recent international. A century later, despite the fact that, while British migration used to be at its height, the majority of males, ladies, and kids crisscrossing the Atlantic on English ships have been of African, now not English, descent. Captives and Voyagers, a compelling research from Alexander X. Byrd, lines the departures, voyages, and landings of enslaved and loose blacks who left their homelands within the eighteenth century for British colonies and examines how displacement and resettlement formed migrant society and, in flip, Britain's Atlantic empire. Captives and Voyagersbreaks clear of the traditional photograph of transatlantic migration and illustrates how black women and men, enslaved and loose, got here to populate the sides of an Anglo-Atlantic international. even if as settlers in Sierra Leone or as slaves in Jamaica, those migrants introduced a deep and affecting event of being in movement to their new homelands, and as they turned firmly ensconced within the details in their new neighborhood situations they either formed and have been themselves molded by way of the calls for of the British Atlantic global, of which they have been a necessary part.Byrd specializes in the 2 greatest and most important streams of black dislocation: the pressured immigration of Africans from the Biafran inside of present-day southeastern Nigeria to Jamaica as a part of the British slave alternate and the emigration of unfastened blacks from nice Britain and British North the US to Sierra Leone in West Africa. through paying specific cognizance to the social and cultural results of transatlantic migration at the teams themselves and focusing besides on their position within the British Empire, Byrd illuminates the that means and event of slavery and liberty for individuals whose trips have been equally beset through severe violence and catastrophe.By following the circulate of this consultant inhabitants, Captives and Voyagers offers a very important view of the British colonial world--its intersection with the African diaspora.
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Extra resources for Captives and Voyagers: Black Migrants Across the Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic World (Antislavery, Abolition, and the Atlantic World)
43 Likely candidates were bargained for, and almost as quickly as the slaves had arrived they were dispatched to waiting ships—either via traders who had brought them down in the first place or by boats belonging to ships then in the river. 44 So the day after a fleet arrived in town, if sales were brisk, it was as if the unfortunates aboard yesterday’s canoes had all but disappeared. By the time they made Bonny, New Calabar, or Old Calabar, slaves from the Biafran interior were deeply alienated.
On average, for instance, English Guineamen calling at the Bight of Biafra sailed nearly seventy days to reach Jamaica. indd 21 10/15/08 10:17:02 AM 22 captives Figure 3. Frontispiece and title page from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, 8th ed. (Norwich, 1794) Source: Library of Congress. their human cargo. 22 The consequences of this trek through the interior should be neither overlooked nor underestimated. The trails captives followed in the interior were characterized by grinding, disjointed movement and profound alienation, the total effect of which was to separate enslaved Africans from the physical and social moorings of their homelands.
Neither was the localism of the Biafran interior akin to stagnation or isolationism. 8 Nonetheless, the expansion and transformation of various village group-based polities informed rather than mitigated against the essential localism of the area as a whole. 9 Political and cultural expansion in the Biafran interior invariably resulted in new or transformed localisms rather than real imperialisms. 11 Thus to its inhabitants, the Biafran hinterland was a patchwork of polities, ethnicities, cultures, ecologies, and professions; and people across the whole expanse tended to refer to themselves and to others accordingly.
Captives and Voyagers: Black Migrants Across the Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic World (Antislavery, Abolition, and the Atlantic World) by Alexander X. Byrd