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Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion (Norton Library) Paperback – April 17, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0393314823 ISBN-10: 0393314820 Edition: Reissue

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Product Details

  • Series: Norton Library
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reissue edition (April 17, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393314820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393314823
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #540,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Easily the most thorough and the most penetrating case study yet written of the Afro-American population during the slave period. . . . Fascinating and instructive.” (Jack P. Greene)

“Mr. Wood has gone beyond any previous study of the history of slavery in the colonial period. . . . He has given us new perspectives not only on slavery but on human relationships in early America.” (Edmund S. Morgan, author of American Slavery / American Freedom)

About the Author

Peter H. Wood is professor of American history at Duke University.

Customer Reviews

I can't say much more without giving away too much of the book.
Derrick Mercer
I recommend it highly to any one interested in learning more about African-American history.
Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01
Peter H. Wood describes the experience of Blacks in early South Carolina.
Brian O'Malley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01 on October 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
Peter H. Wood did a thoroughly researched well written history of African-Americans in South Carolina from 1670 to the Stono Rebellion. I am African-American and read this book for the first time in college; it was assigned to me by a terrific professor, (Thomas R. Hietala). I came to that class with my own concept of what slavery was and what it meant; this book totally challenged me to question my perceptions of slavery. I believed the stereotypic view that Africans were brought here and taught skills here and picked cotton and it was all misery and this book and others he assigned showed me how our modern vision of slavery is very shallow.

This book focuses on the rice growing region of South Carolina and it shows how slavers concentrated on capturing Africans from the rice coast because of their agricultural knowledge and skills; he shed a light on who these African people were before slavery. It explores how the cash crop in South Carolina came to be rice. How South Carolina was established as a colony of Barbados and the slave owners in South Carolina were formerly working class overseers who worked for the royal owners of Sugar Plantations in Barbados and later became land and slave owners in South Carolina; in both places (Barbados and South Carolina) the populations became Black majorities.

It also shows how slavery system in South Carolina evolved for the enslaved from something that was oppressive and informal into something brutal, permanent and hopeless. The evolution of slavery also changed the owners as they became a numerical minority the also became increasingly paranoid, determined to establish brutal absolute authority over the slaves and blinded by their own propaganda.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Brian O'Malley on March 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Peter H. Wood describes the experience of Blacks in early South Carolina. In the initial stages of colonization, planters welcomed the skills of Africans, encouraging Black initiative in many projects. Some Africans herded cattle and cultivated rice and indigo, as they had in various parts of Africa. Eventually, however, landowners shifted to intensive plantation development. Planters then sought to limit the strikingly independent economic pursuits of enslaved African-Americans. Wood sets the stage for the outbreak of the Stono Rebellion in 1739; he then chronicles the revolt with a combination of magnificent scholarship and tremendous narrative skill.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
This study of slavery in early SC is well researched and well written, a social history told in narrative style with a clearly defined chronological structure. Makes a great companion to Philip Morgan's Slave Counterpoint.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Derrick Mercer on January 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I could not put this book down, i learned so much about my people that i never learned in any history class in all my years of schooling in America. That is another story altogether. Peter Wood did an excellent job in examining numerous sources.His ability to identify and understand the diversity of the african backgrounds of the slaves was refreshing. He's helping to undermine the prevalent thought among scholars that the slaves had no technology and were blank slates for Europeans to paint in their own images. He identified the fact that some "Planters" requested slaves from certain areas such as the rice coast, (modern day sierra leone belongs to this coast.)Which in itself shows that Planters were well aware of their slaves origin and the differences between them. I can't say much more without giving away too much of the book. But it's highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bgrand on May 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We keep wondering why we continue to make the same mistakes and operate in ways that don't serve us as a country. Well this book helps to enlighten us as to why that is. The lessons learned in the early days by White men or Europeans and those values have stayed with us as a country as we continued to push further and further away from the coasts into lands that belonged to Native Tribes. It also speaks about the introduction of Africans into America and the fear that Europeans had for those same peoples brought here to cultivate the land and increase the bank books of the slave holders. Again, I loved this book and learned a lot from it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Big Sistah Patty on February 13, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have an interest in the history of Africans in America, specially in South Carolina, this is book will be right up your alley. I did not not detect any bias or underhandedness. It is an educational and enlightening read.

If you are a history buff, please pick up this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this booking while taking a recent class from the retired author Peter Wood. This book was responsible for the way we are taught about slavery now. Before Peters book the schools still presented slavery as a necessary good and the slave was happy and loved the life he/she lead. Peters research is still very relevant and a wonderfully insightful read., If you are interested in history at all this is a must read!
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Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion (Norton Library)
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