Race Relations in the Bahamas, 1784-1834: The Nonviolent Transformation from a Slave to a Free Society
by Whittington Johnson
University of Arkansas Press, 2000
Cloth: 978-1-55728-570-6 | eISBN: 978-1-61075-334-0
Library of Congress Classification F1660.B55J64 2000
Dewey Decimal Classification 972.9600496

This deeply researched, clearly written book is a history of black society and its relations with whites in the Bahamas from the close of the American Revolution to emancipation. Whittington B. Johnson examines the communities developed by free, bonded, and mixed-race blacks on the islands as British colonists and American loyalists unsuccessfully tried to establish a plantation economy. The author explores how relations between the races developed civilly in this region, contrasting it with the harsher and more violent experience of other Caribbean islands as well as the American South. Interpreting church documents and Colonial Office papers in a new light, Johnson presents a more favorable conclusion than previously advanced about the conditions endured by victims of the African Diaspora and by Creoles in the Bahama Islands. He makes use of an impressive and important body of archival and secondary research. Race Relations in the Bahamas will be of great interest to southern historians, historians of slave societies and black communites, scholars of race relations in general, and general readers in the Bahamas.

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