FREEDOM AS MARRONAGE PDF

Within the historiography of Jamaican marronage , the Maroon Treaty of is understood as the formal political legitimation of Maroon communities on the island and the pacification of hostilities with the British. However, as Neil Roberts articulates in his work Freedom as Marronage , it is in the act of marronage itself that freedom is realized. The essential nuance of this re-conceptualization lies in the understanding of marronage as a state of existence that transcends the delimiting polarity presented by teleological frameworks — liberal, republican, and otherwise — that dichotomize slavery and freedom. Questions regarding the conceptualization of freedom bring to mind a discussion I participated in while attending the Charles Town Maroon Conference the same month as the roundtable. Michael Grizzle, Chief of the Trelawny Town Flagstaff Maroon Council, engaged conference participants regarding underexplored aspects of marronage in Jamaica, such as its economic implications.

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Freedom, Neil Roberts answers, cannot be understood without considering the dominant term that opposes freedom in political modernity: slavery. In and by marronage, a formerly enslaved person, whether alone or together with others, asserts herself as an agent capable of altering the circumstances and political relations that condition her being.

Certainly, Freedom as Marronage proves that Roberts does not write in a tentative voice but always takes his stances boldly. One of the most valuable features of this book is its self-conscious and explicit drawing on the black slave and post-slave experience—New World African enslavement, marronage of different varieties, the Haitian slave revolution, post-emancipation racial oppression in conditions of nominal freedom—as a resource for political theory.

Yet, as Roberts convincingly shows, modern political thinkers tend to analyze the concept using the freedoms of the powerful and the privileged to inform their conceptual frames. His wager, which pays off spectacularly, is that readers can gain fresh insights by starting with the history of resistance to slavery. Rather, it is a detailed and nuanced exploration of the kinds of flight from slavery, their nature, and their limits.

The result is a unique contribution to contemporary political thought: the idea of freedom as an ever-shifting process occurring in the liminal space of the slave escape. It is essential reading for those interested in the history of slavery, the concept of freedom, and critical theory. As he shows, thinking through the legacies of enslavement and the flight from it is essential to understanding freedom in a postcolonial, post-apartheid, post-civil rights moment.

Where there is a difference is through dynamics of creolization, of African, European, and indigenous American conceptions of legitimating practices in the struggle for freedom. That the Black slaves chose, for example, the Native American name for the island as the one for their republic is a case in point.

Roberts responds to and builds on these criticisms through theoretical reflection on the concept of marronage, whose etymology points to the sea, to what it means to be lost at sea from one perspective, stuck on an island in another. It refers to the consciousness of enslaved Africans in the Caribbean, whose hopes to return to Africa home were challenged by the sea in every direction.

Roberts works through Hannah Arendt, Phillip Petit, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Frederick Douglass in a debate over such topics as the impact of racialized slavery on conceptions of freedom to problems with the dialectics of recognition as the basis of securing freedom and dignity for the self. Roberts reveals, in Coleridge, a profound existential commitment against bondage and an understanding of freedom that transcends mere liberty.

This book, then, is an exemplar of the creolization of theory, of theory from the global south reaching beyond the institutional location of its author in northern provinces, to articulate freedom and the quest for human dignity beyond the confines of Euromodernity to the heart and soul of a human world in need of learning much from its always present dark side. A must read for those interested in knowing, proverbially, otherwise.

But it all depends on whose liberties have been framing your conceptual investigation. Political theorists, historians, philosophers, and cultural critics take heed: Roberts is a thinker to be reckoned with. He reviews the extant literature to reject the idea that slavery and freedom are inherently inert conditions enjoyed separate and apart from the other.

Roberts finds that the well renowned historian John Hope Franklin, as well as the respected fathers of modern philosophy such as Hobbs, Berlin and Kant, all viewed slavery and freedom as inertia since they ignore flight in their theories on slavery and slave agency. He does a superb job discussing how it was a non-sovereign imaginary of freedom that moved more than a half million African slaves to take flight from slavery and begin the business of building a new polity known as the nation of Haiti.

In the words of Neil Roberts, the masses of Haiti dared to be free by themselves and for themselves.

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Freedom as Marronage

New Hompage Kerwin Adduru T Marronage is a flight from the negative, subhuman realm of necessity, bondage, and unfreedom toward the sphere of positive activity and human freedom. Flight is multidimensional, constant, and never static. Freedom as Marronage, Neil Roberts Sign up above to receive information about our product line when it launches soon! We at Marronage would like to invite you to our world of design, illustration, storytelling and ultimately…escape.

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Freedom, Neil Roberts answers, cannot be understood without considering the dominant term that opposes freedom in political modernity: slavery. In and by marronage, a formerly enslaved person, whether alone or together with others, asserts herself as an agent capable of altering the circumstances and political relations that condition her being. Certainly, Freedom as Marronage proves that Roberts does not write in a tentative voice but always takes his stances boldly. One of the most valuable features of this book is its self-conscious and explicit drawing on the black slave and post-slave experience—New World African enslavement, marronage of different varieties, the Haitian slave revolution, post-emancipation racial oppression in conditions of nominal freedom—as a resource for political theory. Yet, as Roberts convincingly shows, modern political thinkers tend to analyze the concept using the freedoms of the powerful and the privileged to inform their conceptual frames.

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In Freedom as Marronage, Neil Roberts answers this question with definitive force: slavery, and from there he unveils powerful new insights on the human condition as it has been understood between these poles. Crucial to his investigation is the concept of marronage—a form of slave escape that was an important aspect of Caribbean and Latin American slave systems. Examining this overlooked phenomenon—one of action from slavery and toward freedom—he deepens our understanding of freedom itself and the origin of our political ideals. Roberts examines the liminal and transitional space of slave escape in order to develop a theory of freedom as marronage, which contends that freedom is fundamentally located within this space—that it is a form of perpetual flight. He engages a stunning variety of writers, including Hannah Arendt, W. Du Bois, Angela Davis, Frederick Douglass, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and the Rastafari, among others, to develop a compelling lens through which to interpret the quandaries of slavery, freedom, and politics that still confront us today.

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Neil Roberts What is the opposite of freedom? In Freedom as Marronage, Neil Roberts answers this question with definitive force: slavery, and from there he unveils powerful new insights on the human condition as it has been understood between these poles. Crucial to his investigation is the concept of marronage—a form of slave escape that was an important aspect of Caribbean and Latin American slave systems. Examining this overlooked phenomenon—one of action from slavery and toward freedom—he deepens our understanding of freedom itself and the origin of our political ideals. Roberts examines the liminal and transitional space of slave escape in order to develop a theory of freedom as marronage, which contends that freedom is fundamentally located within this space—that it is a form of perpetual flight. He engages a stunning variety of writers, including Hannah Arendt, W. Du Bois, Angela Davis, Frederick Douglass, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and the Rastafari, among others, to develop a compelling lens through which to interpret the quandaries of slavery, freedom, and politics that still confront us today.

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