BOOK: Bush on Slave Women in Caribbean Society


African Diaspora, Ph.D. is revisiting scholarship that has shaped the study of people of African descent across time and place.

Barbara Bush. Slave Women in Caribbean Society, 1650-1838. Heinemann, 1990.

In a 1991 review of the volume, Verene A. Shepherd wrote:

“Female slaves have generally been ignored in scholarly research and discourse on the Caribbean. Since the 1980s, however, historical writing on the region has begun to attack themale dominance in the historiography – not as some would view it – as an ’emotional feminist response’ to female obscurity in the literature, but because enough evidence now exists to indicate that slave women’s expe rience was sufficiently divergent from thatof slave men to warrant reassessment of the major analyses on Caribbean slavery.

This book is among the latest in thedeveloping field of womens studies on theCaribbean and deals with some of the more important themes which have emerged within this historiography. It is a commendable attempt to overcome-the research difficulties inherent in the historica linvisibility of women, the paucity of hard evidence and the ethnocentric nature of gender-differentiated contemporary writings and present an analysis of the role of slave women which, as the author states, is fundamental to any under standing of the present status of Caribbean women….”



Verene A. Shepherd, “Review of Slave Women in Caribbean Society 1650-1838 by Barbara Bush.” Social and Economic Studies 40, no. 1 (March 1, 1991): 189–192.

Featured Image Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZC4-3075 as shown on, compiled by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite, and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library. Slavery Images Caption: Two Women with Head-Ties, Jamaica, 1808-1815 [Click here]

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