Jun 01 2023


9:00 am - 10:30 am


Department of History

Department of History

Frances O’Shaughnessy
University of Washington
BLACK REVOLUTION ON THE SEA ISLANDS1 June 2023 (Thu) Online Event 09:00-10:30

Historians who have recognized Black self-emancipatory actions during the U. S. Civil War often narrate from the site of production, or when Black people departed from the estate and stopped the production of plantation commodities. “Black Revolution on the Sea Islands” considers what it would mean to understand Black liberation from the site of social reproduction, be it the growing and cooking of food, the caretaking and teaching of children, or the singing and praising of God. As a part of the larger and longer Black Revolution against slavery and empire, Gullah Geechee women uncoupled their survival from the maintenance of slavery, using food labours that once sustained their capacity to produce cotton and reproduce the enslaved workforce to foster instead a world based on sustenance and collective care. These plantations, at least for a time, expressed an anti-proprietary freedom, whose rhythms of life exceeded the time and motion of racial capital.

Frances O’Shaughnessy (they/them) is a historian of gender, empire, and slavery within the African Diaspora and a doctoral candidate at the University of Washington. Their dissertation, “Black Revolution on the Sea Islands,” historicizes Gullah Geechee practices of freedom and property during the U. S. Civil War and Reconstruction. Their work has been supported by the McNeil Center of Early American Studies, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, the Mellon Foundation, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the New England Regional Research Consortium, and Fulbright Canada.

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