UCL Institute of the Americas


Seminar: Gender and Protest at Morant Bay and in the Post-Emancipation Caribbean

04 November 2015, 5:30 pm–7:00 pm

Event Information

Open to



UCL Institute of the Americas


UCL Institute of the Americas, 51 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PN

SoundCloud Widget Placeholderhttps://soundcloud.com/ucl-arts-social-science/ucl-americas-seminar-gend...


Gad Heuman (Warwick) - Men have long been regarded as the leaders of the Morant Bay Rebellion and other post-emancipation protests. For example, Paul Bogle and George William Gordon are honoured for their involvement in the Rebellion. But it is also important to remember that women played a prominent role in the outbreak at Morant Bay as well as in other post-emancipation protests.

In examining riots and rebellions in the Anglophone Caribbean after 1834, it is therefore important to examine the role of gender. It is clear that freedom was experienced differently by black men and women and that gender inequality continued after the abolition of slavery. In the Caribbean, men generally had access to citizenship: assuming they met the franchise requirements, men could vote. In Jamaica, they could also sit in the House of Assembly and on local vestries as well as serving on juries. None of these possibilities were open to women. As Diana Paton and Pamela Scully have noted, women "were political minors in the postslavery landscape".

Yet despite their different experiences of freedom, both men and women protested the terms of emancipation. They sometimes did so in different ways, reflecting their varied experiences of emancipation. This paper will highlight the role of women in these movements, while also devoting some attention to men. It will also discuss the gendered nature of freedom more generally.

Professor Gad Heuman is Professor Emeritus in the Department of History, University of Warwick, former Director of the Centre for Caribbean Studies at Warwick and a former Chair of SCS. Publications include: Between Black and White: Race, Politics and the Free Coloreds in Jamaica, 1792-1865 (Westport, CT and Oxford, 1981), The Killing Time: The Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica (London and Knoxville, 1994) and The Caribbean: A Brief History (London, New York and Kingston, 2006; 2nd edition, 2014). He is the editor of the journal Slavery & Abolition.