[act-ma] 2/29 Ned and Constance Sublette, The American Slave Coast
cwelch at tecschange.org
Sat Feb 13 14:00:40 PST 2016
T/he American Slave Coast/ offers a provocative vision of US history
from earliest colonial times through emancipation that presents even the
most familiar events and figures in a revealing new light.
Authors Ned and Constance Sublette tell the brutal story of how the
slavery industry made the reproductive labor of the people it referred
to as breeding women essential to the young country's expansion. Captive
African Americans in the slave nation were not only laborers, but
merchandise and collateral all at once. In a land without silver, gold,
or trustworthy paper money, their children and their children's children
into perpetuity were used as human savings accounts that functioned as
the basis of money and credit in a market premised on the continual
expansion of slavery. Slaveowners collected interest in the form of
newborns, who had a cash value at birth and whose mothers had no legal
right to say no to forced mating.
This gripping narrative is driven by the power struggle between the
elites of Virginia, the slave-raising mother of slavery, and South
Carolina, the massive importer of Africans a conflict that was central
to American politics from the making of the Constitution through the
debacle of the Confederacy.
Virginia slaveowners won a major victory when Thomas Jefferson's 1808
prohibition of the African slave trade protected the domestic slave
markets for slave-breeding. The interstate slave trade exploded in
Mississippi during the presidency of Andrew Jackson, drove the US
expansion into Texas, and powered attempts to take over Cuba and other
parts of Latin America, until a disaffected South Carolina spearheaded
the drive to secession and war, forcing the Virginians to secede or lose
their slave-breeding industry.
Filled with surprising facts, fascinating incidents, and startling
portraits of the people who made, endured, and resisted the
slave-breeding industry, /The American Slave Coast/ culminates in the
revolutionary Emancipation Proclamation, which at last decommissioned
the capitalized womb and armed the African Americans to fight for their
Ned Sublette is the author of /Cuba and Its Music/, /The World that Made
New Orleans/, and /The Year Before the Flood/. Constance Sublette has
published, as Constance Ash, three novels and edited the anthology /Not
of Woman Born/.
Monday, February 29, 2016 - 7:00pm
Porter Square Books
25 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140
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