The Archaeology of Antislavery Resistance

Terrance M. Weik

Foreword by Michael S. Nassaney, Series Editor
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"Fascinating…. Weik clearly shows that this antislavery resistance is poorly documented in the records of the dominant society and that the study of the material culture can provide subtle clues to the life and conduct of the resisters. This volume is a comprehensive survey of an important new field in historical archaeology. Written as a narrative, it is very accessible to both the professional and lay reader. It well reflects the beginning of an interesting new direction in archaeological research that is bound to produce dramatic results in the years to come." --American Archaeology

"Weik reviews studies that describe resistance in multidimensional ways, warning readers not to focus on the arguments of resistance to slavery in narrow terms of violence or activism, but to be aware that resistance took many forms and manifestations, depending on the community or the circumstances." --Choice


"Weik's comprehensive survey of the archaeology of freedom represents a critical contribution to African Diaspora studies, and serves as an admirable standard to which future research in this area should strive to achieve."--Maria Franklin, University of Texas at Austin

"Offers a fresh approach to understanding the varied ways in which enslaved people sought freedom."--Theresa Singleton, Syracuse University

In the days of slavery, people of African descent sought to protect their human rights, escape from bondage, and combat exploitation. Their actions varied across different settings and times, and included accommodation, collaboration, autonomy, and militancy. This volume focuses on the evolution of antislavery resistance by examining material culture, documents, oral traditions, and other evidence that illustrate how enslaved people fought for their freedom.

Terrance M. Weik, associate professor of anthropology at the University of South Carolina, is a contributor to Archaeology of Atlantic Africa and the Africa Diaspora.

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"This fascinating study of resistance to African slavery in North America is a very important contribution to the relatively new and growing field of slavery archaeology. Weik clearly shows that this antislavery resistance is poorly documented in the records of the dominant society and that the study of the material culture can provide subtle clues to the life and conduct of the resisters. This volume is a comprehensive survey of an important new field in historical archaeology. Written as a narrative, it is very accessible to both the professional and lay reader. It well reflects the beginning of an interesting new direction in archaeological research that is bound to produce dramatic results in the years to come." American Archaeology

"Eloquently introduces important theoretical and methodological issues…an excellent entry point for students and others without a broad knowledge of the topic." Journal of American Studies

"Essential reading for any archeologist working on the African Diaspora in North America and is also recommended for archaeologists concerned with issues of responses to unequal power in other colonial and culture-interaction contexts." North American Archeologist

“Useful... for those who are beginning projects dealing with issues of slavery and abolition, Weik’s overview of the pitfalls and difficulties, provide models for academics, cultural resource professionals, and government agencies alike.” Northeast Historical Archaeology

Illuminates how self-emancipated Africans and their maroon communities created and fostered cultural paradigms for redefining and resisting Eurocentric or racial definitions of personhood in favor of more flexible models of “who we are” and “what we believe.” Journal of African American History

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