A Brief History of Emancipation in Antigua with Dr. Natasha Lightfoot

Strictly Facts: A Guide to Caribbean History and Culture

Jul 27 2022 • 1 hr 1 min

The anglophone Caribbean and other parts of the former British empire celebrate Emancipation Day on the First of August, commemorating the abolition of slavery on August 1, 1804. In this episode, Dr. Natasha Lightfoot joins us for a discussion on Antigua's intricate story of emancipation, freedom, and the impact of colonialism then and now.

Natasha Lightfoot is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Faculty Fellow in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University. Her research and teaching interests include Atlantic slavery and emancipation, Black community formation and acts of resistance, and daily practices of freedom in the nineteenth-century English speaking Caribbean. She is the author of Troubling Freedom: Antigua and the Aftermath of British Emancipation (Duke University Press, 2015), which focuses on black working people’s struggles and everyday forms of liberation in British colonial Antigua after slavery’s end. She has also been published in The New York Times, as well as a number of academic journals including The CLR James Journal, Slavery & Abolition, Small Axe, and most recently the William and Mary Quarterly. Her research has been supported by fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society, the Ford Foundation, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the British Library, and most recently from the American Council of Learned Societies. She is currently writing a book titled Fugitive Cosmopolitans about enslaved people’s mobility, imperial subjecthood and struggles for freedom between empires in the Caribbean. Follow Dr. Lightfoot on Twitter.

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