A Kick in the Belly

A Kick in the Belly

Women, Slavery and Resistance

Stella Abasa Dadzie

$9.99

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Description

The story of the enslaved West Indian women in the struggle for freedom

Enslaved West Indian women had few opportunities to record their stories for posterity. Yet from their dusty footprints and the umpteen small clues they left for us to unravel, there’s no question that they earned their place in history. Pick any Caribbean island and you’ll find race, skin colour and rank interacting with gender in a unique and often volatile way. In A Kick in the Belly, Stella Dadzie follows the evidence, and finds women played a distinctly female role in the development of a culture of slave resistance—a role that was not just central, but downright dynamic.

From the coffle-line to the Great House, enslaved women found ways of fighting back that beggar belief. Whether responding to the horrendous conditions of plantation life, the sadistic vagaries of their captors or the “peculiar burdens of their sex,” their collective sanity relied on a highly subversive adaptation of the values and cultures they smuggled with them naked from different parts of Africa. By sustaining or adapting remembered cultural practices, they ensured that the lives of chattel slaves retained both meaning and purpose. A Kick in the Belly makes clear that their subtle acts of insubordination and their conscious acts of rebellion came to undermine the very fabric and survival of West Indian slavery.


Author

Stella Abasa Dadzie:
Stella Dadzie is best known for her co-authorship of The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain, which won the 1985 Martin Luther King Award for Literature, and was recently re-published by Verso in the Feminist Classics series. She is a founding member of OWAAD (Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent), a national umbrella group that emerged in the late 1970s as part of the British civil rights movement, and was recently described as one of the "grandmothers" of Black Feminism in the UK. Her career as a teacher, writer, artist and education activist spans over 40 years.

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