Amy M. Johnson
Elon University: Elon, North Carolina
This research demonstrates a diasporic connection between slavery on both sides of the Atlantic, English and African interactions on the Gold Coast, and slave resistance in Jamaica from 1655 to the middle of the eighteenth century. This article transfers the site of ‘seasoning,’ the process by which enslaved peoples became physically and socially acclimatised to slavery, from New World plantations to the homelands of Africans held in bondage. In turn, a challenge is presented to the notion that ‘seasoning’ led toward greater acceptance of slavery.
Furthermore, this article explains what people subjugated in early colonial Jamaica from the Gold Coast of West Africa envisaged of their English masters and connects their expectations to their experiences on the Gold Coast. Men and women from the Gold Coast anticipated opportunities to improve their material and social status while enslaved in Jamaica. Denied those opportunities during the early colonial period they became frequently, and sometimes violently, rebellious.