ARTICLE: King on Enslaved Women, Murder, and Southern Courts

Wilma King, “Mad” Enough to Kill: Enslaved Women, Murder, and Southern Courts, The Journal of African American History, Vol. 92, No. 1, Women, Slavery, and Historical Research (Winter, 2007), pp. 37-56

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BOOK: Paton on Crime, Punishment, and Gender in Jamaica

Paton_Cover_No_Bond_but_the_Law
Diana Paton, No Bond but the Law: Punishment, Race, and Gender in Jamaican State Formation, 1780–1870. Duke University Press, 2004.

via Duke U Press:

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VIDEO: Morgan, ‘Partus Sequitur Ventrem’: Law and Re/Production for Enslaved Women

Keynote Address by Professor Jennifer Morgan, New York University to the conference Pregnancy, Childbearing and Infant Care: Historical Perspectives from Slave and Non-Slave Societies

Part of the Research Network ‘Mothering Slaves: Comparative Perspectives on Motherhood, Childlessness and the Care of Children in Atlantic Slave Societies’

Newcastle University, 8 April 2015

AUDIO: Kelley on Michael Brown And Dred Scott | Here & Now

Demonstrators display signs during a protest on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri on August 18, 2014. Police fired tear gas in another night of unrest in a Missouri town where a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, just hours after President Barack Obama called for calm. AFP PHOTO / Michael B. Thomas        (Photo credit should read Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators display signs during a protest on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri on August 18, 2014. Police fired tear gas in another night of unrest in a Missouri town where a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, just hours after President Barack Obama called for calm. AFP PHOTO / Michael B. Thomas (Photo credit should read Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images)

 

via Here & Now:

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.

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BOOK: Edwards on Legal Culture of the Post-Revolutionary South

peopleandtheirpeace

Laura F. Edwards. The People and Their Peace: Legal Culture and the Transformation of Inequality in the Post-revolutionary South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009.

via UNC Press:

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ARTICLE: Milbrandt on Livingstone and the Law (via The Legal History Blog)

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 trade in East Africa remain practically untold. There, an unlikely hero championed abolition: Missionary and explorer Dr. David Livingstone. His method: an ambitious publicity stunt to dramatically change international law.

This article will illustrate how explorer David Livingstone’s advocacy profoundly affected the legal landscape to restrict the slave trade in East Africa, and eventually dealt the deathblow abolishing it forever. Further, this article will illustrate how a lack of enforcement of the law and a policy of incremental restrictions on the slave trade, in lieu of outright abolition, was destructive to East and Central Africa, intensifying the slave trade with ramifications that can still be felt today. Finally, it will demonstrate, by modern analog, how strict enforcement of the rule of law is necessary in the developing world today.

H/T: Found at The Legal History Blog: Milbrandt on Livingstone the Explorer and the African Slave Trade

Dayan Receives Vanderbilt University Chancellor’s Award


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, the North American colonies, and the Caribbean that have survived in our legal discourse, and she explores the civil deaths of felons and slaves through lawful repression. Tracing the legacy of slavery in the United States in the structures of the contemporary American prison system and in the administrative detention of ghostly supermax facilities, she also demonstrates how contemporary jurisprudence regarding cruel and unusual punishment prepared the way for abuses in Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo.

Read the more details on the announcement via Repeating Islands and the press announcement.  Read more about the book at Princeton University Press.

ARTICLE: Paton on Obeah and Poison in Atlantic Slavery

“Burial 72, Newton Plantation Cemetery, Barbados,” Image Reference B72_extended, as shown on http://www.slaveryimages.org, compiled by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite, and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library: “View of extended skeleton on its back in situ; copper bracelets on each arm and pipe bowl on pelvic area are visible; possibly an Obeah man/medicine man.” (Click image for details)
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. Investigating the Jamaica assembly’s decision within a wider Caribbean and Atlantic context and alongside the near-contemporaneous “Makandal conspiracy” in Saint Domingue, which was interpreted by French planters as a mass outbreak of poisoning, shows how similar practices came to be interpreted and constructed in different ways in different colonial cultures. The practices used by Tacky’s “obeah man” and Makandal’s followers were conceptually and practically similar, deriving from African understandings of medicine in which substances could be imbued with spiritual power. Why, then, did the French colonists emphasize poison while the British emphasized obeah (which they glossed with the term “witchcraft”)? In addition to the differences between developments in the colonies, an important context for understanding this distinction was the European experience of the decriminalization of witchcraft. In France decriminalization led to heightened anxiety about poison, while in England witchcraft decriminalization was not connected to poison but made the term and legal category of witchcraft a difficult one for planters to invoke.