Enslaved African WOMEN who led revolutionary rebellions in the Caribbean but are less celebrated, forgotten and erased in history.

[Thread]
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⚠️TW: mention of suicide, violence & graphic images
BREFFU
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Introducing my favourite female figure, largely invisible in history but remembered by her people. Breffu was an Akwamu leader of the 1733 insurrection on St. Jan (now known as St. John) in the Danish Caribbean. Breffu led the longest recorded rebellion in...
North American history. Originally from Ghana, Breffu was captured and sold to the slaver Pieter Krøyer in Coral Bay. Her and the Akwamu people killed him and his family, as well as the Van Stell family, burnt down houses and crops, & took control of most of St. John...
She now represents the 1 and 23. All members of the rebellion who together committed suicide as a final act of resistance against the true death (slavery). Today she is celebrated annually with a parade & a re-enactment of the insurrection.
CARLOTA
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Carlota Lucumí, also known as La Negra Carlota, was an African-born enslaved Cuban woman of Yoruba origin. Carlota was known as one of the leaders of the slave rebellion at the Triunvirato plantation in Matanzas, Cuba during the Year of the Lash in 1843-1844.
According to sources Carlota hatched an escape plan with Fermina, a fellow slave, but their plot was discovered when Fermina was captured & locked away. Carlota used a drum to urge others to join the rising. This "talking drum" was a secret & coded plan of attack...
Carlota was able to free Fermina and other slaves, and they then went into battle. Many died during the uprising, MANY slaves freed. Carlota died as her body was dragged by horses until lifeless and today a statue of Carlota stands over the Triumvirato sugar mill plantation.
AKUA
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The story of Akua is greatly lost to legend. Whether completely true or not, its important this story is included. Akua, from the Ashanti, is regarded as the "Queen of Kingston." It is said that Akua was a healer/Obeah woman. As was/is common in certain parts of Africa...
She studied the use of herbs & spices in curing diseases & healing wounds & combined that with Obeah practices (otherwise regarded as Blsck magic/withcraft by the British). It is said that Akua created a hostel/hospital to treat sick black people who were denied medical...
Attention on the grounds of their race. It is also believed that she is closely linked to the Tacky Rebellion of Port Maria, & instrumental in the leadership. The British feared her tenacity and powers greatly.
MARY, AGNUS & MATILDA
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Nothing is better than a rebellious sisterhood. In 1878, another violent rebellion took place in the Danish Caribbean. The Rebellion on St. Croix, led by three women played a considerably active role leading this rebellion...
The three women along with many other slaves burnt houses, sugar mills, fields, and stores on around 50 plantations!!! Over half the city of Frederiksted also burnt down and thus the rebellion is locally known as the 'Fireburn'...
There is a statue of the three "queens" on one main road in St. Croix called Queen Mary Highway.
NANNY of the Maroons
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Seemingly the most popular rebel woman in Caribbean history is Nanny, though on a global she is still unheard of. Nanny was a leader of the Maroons at the beginning of the 18th century. She was an outstanding military leader who...
was particularly important in the fierce fight with the British during the First Maroon War from 1720 to 1739. Although she has been immortalised in songs & legends, certain facts about Nanny (or “Granny Nanny”) have also been documented.
Nanny trained her maroon warriors in the art of guerilla warfare. It is also said that she was a great obeah woman and worked magic to protect her warriors from their British enemies. The British fought Nanny and her maroon troops from 1728 to 1734.
In 1739, another maroon leader, Cudjoe, signed a peace treaty with the British. Later, as a result of that treaty, Nanny & her maroons were granted land upon which to settle. The settlement that emerged on this land was dubbed New Nanny Town.
On March 31, 1982 the Right Excellent Nanny of the Maroons was conferred the Order of the National Hero as per Government Notice 23 Jamaica Gazette along with Samuel Sharpe.
⚡They were rebels, fighters, radicals, revolutionaries, dreamers, activists, Black...women! ⚡
After almost 200 votes many voted that this be todays thread. At the end of the month, I'll be doing a thread on the coded/secret messages in popular gospel and blues songs written by enslaved people - stay tuned! 🖤

I also make threads on rare Black history facts every/any month of the year not just Black History month.
You can check out some of my previous threads here 👉

"Missing Pieces" twitter.com/i/events/12822…
Also this thread isn't the reason why you should love and respect Black women. We don't have to do exceptional things to receive respect... we are, and have always been, human - and that's enough.
AND since you're all here check out/follow @BlackInArtsHums we are a network of Black people in the Arts and Humanities (academic, industry, freelance, hobby etc.) 💕
Finally found the artist 😍!! The paintings of Carlota in this thread (first tweet and later in thread) are by a wonderful artist called @LiliBernard ! Check out her other pieces too they are phenomenal 💛

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More from @Nay_Landell

19 Aug
[ A Thread ]

Jamaica/Xaymaca: Before the arrival of enslaved African peoples

(Culture, Identity, History, Memory)
It is believed that around 800 CE the Taíno people (also known as Arawak) were the first inhabitants of the island and therefore the first to experience the violence of European colonialism/terrorism on the island.
The Taíno people named the island 'Xaymaca' meaning "land of wood and water", Taínos were very skilled at fishing, agriculture, hunting and making canoes among other things.
Read 14 tweets
24 Jun
Conversations are being had about the myth of the strong Black woman .

Caused me to think about James Marion-Sims, "the father of gynaecological surgery" who perfected his surgical techniques by operating w/o anesthesia on 
enslaved Black women (1/3)
Many Black women died due to his reckless experimentation. Bodies in mass graves. Once perfected he went to Europe to treat white women (with anesthesia). Black womens bodies were sacrificed for white women. (2/3)
Not much has changed when you consider that Black women are fives times more likely to die in childbirth than white women because of medical racism.

The convos being had abt Strong Black women are centred on emotional pain, but it stems from myths about physical endurance (3/3)
Read 8 tweets
18 Jun
So much engagement & questions, thank you all! 💛 I wanted to spend the most time speaking about Mammy as it's a hot topic right now #AuntJemima

But let me very briefly (1 sentence or 2) tell you about the other three images I'm researching. B4 I tell you about my activism work!
TW: sensitive content/abuse

The Jezebel Stereotype:

Inspired by name-sake in the biblical Book of Kings, Jezebel became the incarnated persona of Black women. It was a myth which legitimised/justified rape & other violent sexual derivaties.
The hyper-sexualisation of Black women by white colonial society, reinforced a racialised binary of womenhood (BW: 'lusty' & 'seductive', WW: 'pious' & 'pure')

This myth supported *false* claims that Black slave women were responsible for the horrific sexual abuse they endured.
Read 10 tweets
18 Jun
The Mammy stereotype.

Mammy is the cheerful and willing house-slave. This cheerfulness is depicted in films/novels, namely the main character #AuntJemima from 'Gone with the Wind.'

The Mammy was created to make people believe that slavery was good & the system benevolent.
Mammy is always depicted as round, dark, and desexualised. These physical traits were used as justification that White men could never want to r*pe Black women - such justification allowed them to get away with it.
Mammy (Mommy) was an image also used to distort Black motherhood.

Black slave children were forcibly removed from their mothers & sold to other white masters. The Mammy initiated the notion that BW were bad mothers to Black children & yet supreme "mothers" to white children.
Read 12 tweets
18 Jun
So today I'll be talking about 4 (of many) anti-black sterotypes/caricatures that were built to degrade the Black body & justify slavery/racism.

These images make up the four chapters of my PhD thesis: The Jezebel, The Mammy, The Mandingo Buck & The Sambo.

*Sensitive content*
#AuntJemima has been trending since yesterday, for the first time in my 1 year on Twitter! The Mammy stereotype is the chapter I am currently writing. I'll be back at 2:30pm to discuss postcolonialism & ecocriticism in Caribbean literature & my research on the Mammy.
Read 6 tweets

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