Communication and African American Declarations of Independence
This chapter examines the legal repercussions the Stono Rebellion, which broke out on September 9, 1739 when a group of Kongolese slaves-turned-rebels hoping to gain liberty stormed a storehouse near Charles Town in the Spanish colony of South Carolina and went on to kill about twenty-three white colonists before being subdued by the militia. It looks at the rebellion’s implications for communication and human rights, and discusses the passage of a number of regulations related to slavery, including “An Act for the Better Ordering and Governing of Negroes and Other Slaves in this Province,” also known as the “Negro Act,” signed into law on May 10, 1740. The Negro Act offered rewards to Native Americans who captured runaways and sought to enhance the social position of poor whites, turning racism into a “realistic device for control” by transforming the legal status of South Carolina’s slaves from freehold property to chattel. The chapter analyzes African American declarations of independence following the Stono Rebellion.
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