Resource List

The story of the 1811 revolt, and slave rebellions generally, is/are a powerful story of liberation
with many lessons for the present. If you want to engage that history more fully, below is a list of
resources I have been drawing on.

  • On to New Orleans, Albert Thrasher—This is the original book that presents the first
    substantial research of the 1811 revolt—years before the later bestseller American
    Uprising. On to New Orleans is published by Leon Waters and is currently available
    directly from him: Price is $30 + $4 shipping charge.
  • Soul By Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market, Walter Johnson—An important
    exploration of a slave market, both as a physical location where slaves are sold, but also
    market, as in stock market.
  • Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, Bob Avakian. This book looks squarely at
    how slavery is foundational to America and how the political, legal, philosophical and
    economic base from America’s founding is rooted in oppression and exploitation and
    how that legacy is inextricably woven into America at present.
  • The Confessions of Nat Turner — As told to Thomas R. Gray. Not to be confused with
    the novel by William Styron. Available as free download here.
  • American Negro Slave Revolts , Herbert Aptheker—The substantive first recounting of
    slave revolts in the US. Written with the assumption that the slave revolts are just and
    fighting for emancipation
  • Slavery by Another Name: The Reenslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to WWI I, Douglas Blackmon—more on the legacy of slavery.
  • Fire on the Mountain , Terry Bisson — A cool scifi “what if” set in the future if John
    Brown and Harriet Tubman launched a successful war to end slavery.
  • Congo Square, African Roots in New Orleans , Freddi WIlliams Evans
  • Fragments of the Peculiar Institution, Dread Scott. An artist book of my research into
    slavery. Order directly from the publisher here.

I’ve also been looking at how visual artists have approached slave and peasant uprising. In
– Hale Woodruff (Amistad murals)
– Kathe Kollwitz (Peasant War series)
– Jacob Lawrence (Toussaint Louverture)

Slave Revolt in Jamaica 1760-1761, Vincent Brown.
In this interactive web project, Brown presents an animated thematic map that narrates the spatial history of the greatest slave insurrection in the eighteenth century British Empire. It gives a complex view of the dynamics and fighting strategy of revolts.

Burn (Queimada)
1969 Italian & French film directed by Gillo Pontecorvo and starring Marlon Brando and Evaristo Márquez. The fictional story focuses on the infighting between British and Portuguese colonial powers to occupy an island in the Caribbean. Brando plays a British secret government agent, who manipulates a slave revolt to serve the interests of the British sugar trade. The rebel slaves are the real heroes of the film.

I would also encourage anyone interested to visit New Orleans and take Leon Waters’ Hidden History Tour of the 1811 revolt.