There have been violent protests against the police in Ferguson, Missouri, for more than a week, since police shot and killed an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown.
An African-American professor watching the situation sees a link between what’s happening in Missouri today and what happened in the state in the 1800s when it was at the center of the national debate and divide over slavery.
Blair Kelley, who teaches history at North Carolina State University, finds parallels between Michael Brown and Dred Scott, a slave who sued for his freedom and ultimately lost his case in the U.S. Supreme Court in 1857.
Jay Milbrandt, “Livingstone and the Law: Africa’s Greatest Explorer and the Abolition of the Slave Trade.” SSRN eLibrary (August 20, 2012). Abstract: Few historical events have had such tragic, widespread, and lingering consequences as the exportation of slaves from Africa. While the abolition of western Africa’s transatlantic slave trade is well documented, the events and legal framework that led to the abolition of the slave … Continue reading ARTICLE: Milbrandt on Livingstone and the Law (via The Legal History Blog)
Via Repeating Islands: Colin Dayan recently received a Vanderbilt University Chancellor’s Award for her research and book The Law Is a White Dog: How Legal Rituals Make and Unmake Persons (Princeton University Press, 2011), which was selected by Choice as one of top 25 books for 2011… Description (excerpt): Moving seamlessly across genres and disciplines, Dayan considers legal practices and spiritual beliefs from medieval England, … Continue reading Dayan Receives Vanderbilt University Chancellor’s Award
Paton, Diana. “Witchcraft, Poison, Law, and Atlantic Slavery.” The William and Mary Quarterly 69, no. 2 (April 1, 2012): 235–264. Abstract: In response to Tacky’s Rebellion in 1760 in Jamaica, the colony’s House of Assembly passed a law naming a new crime, “obeah.” This important statute led the way in establishing obeah as a phenomenon understood by colonial authorities as a singular and dangerous problem. … Continue reading ARTICLE: Paton on Obeah and Poison in Atlantic Slavery
James Walvin. The Zong: A Massacre, the Law and the End of Slavery. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011. via publisher’s website: On November 29, 1781, Captain Collingwood of the British ship Zong commanded his crew to throw overboard one-third of his cargo: a shipment of Africans bound for slavery in America. The captain believed his ship was off course, and he feared there … Continue reading BOOK: Walvin on the British Slave Ship Zong
Jessica Millward,. “‘That All Her Increase Shall Be Free’: Enslaved Women’s Bodies and the Maryland 1809 Law of Manumission.” Women’s History Review 21, no. 3 (2012): 363–378. Abstract: This article investigates the relationship between manumission laws and enslaved women’s bodies in Maryland, USA. The point of departure is the 1809 ‘Act to Ascertain and Declare the Condition of Such Issue as may hereafter be born … Continue reading ARTICLE: Millward on Enslaved Women, Bodies, and Maryland Manumission Law