[act-ma] 2/29 Ned and Constance Sublette, The American Slave Coast (tonight)

Charlie Welch cwelch at tecschange.org
Mon Feb 29 04:04:07 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/.

    Event date:

Monday, February 29, 2016 - 7:00pm

    Event address:

Porter Square Books
25 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140


More information about the Act-MA mailing list