Remembering Slave Revolts on Juneteenth

No matter what you think about our newest federal holiday, to me it’s more evidence that race is the thread that connects all of our history.

For example, I’ve just found a National Geographic article entitled “How Two Centuries of Slave Revolts Shaped American History” by Erin Blakemore ( Most people are familiar with Nat Turner’s rebellion and John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, but (in another example of how much of our history doesn’t get a mention in school) there were more than two. Many more. To quote the opening paragraph of the article —

“The beginning of chattel slavery in North America birthed something else: Rebellion. Enslaved people didn’t just engage in passive resistance against slaveholders—they planned and participated in armed revolts. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, enslaved Africans and African Americans in British North America and the United States staged hundreds of revolts.”

Yes, hundreds! So, for the sake of brevity, I’m just going to list the significant revolts as they appear in the article —

1663: Servants Plot, Gloucester County, Virginia

1739: Stono Rebellion, Stono, South Carolina

1791: Haitian Revolution

1741: New York City Conspiracy 

1811: German Coast Uprising 

1822: Denmark Vesey’s Revolt 

1831: Nat Turner’s Revolt 

1859: Harper’s Ferry Raid 

You’re invited to follow the links for more information.

Happy Juneteenth!

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