In this first book to focus so directly upon the earliest Negro inhabitants of the deep South, Peter Wood brilliantly lays to rest the notion that the Afro-American past is unrecoverable and makes it clear that blacks played a significant and often determinative part in early American history.
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Tracing the worsening of conditions for the black majority as the colony expanded, Mr. Wood shows how tensions between the races grew and how black resistance evolved into calculated acts of rebellion. The most significant of these uprisings occurred near the Stono River in 1739 and rivaled, in its immediate ferocity and long-range implications, the revolt led by Nat Turner in Virginia almost one hundred years later. Until now the story of the Stono Rebellion has never been fully pieced together, and Mr. Wood reveals how the quelling of this uprising represented a turning point for the turbulent first phase of Negro enslavement in the deep South.
Beyond its impressive scholarship and the intrinsic interest of its material, Black Majority performs an important service by recovering—and bringing into the American consciousness—a portion of the American past and heritage that has hitherto remained unknown.