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In this chapter, Claudius Fergus examines how “more emphatically than any previous work, The Black Jacobins reconfigured the historiography of enslaved Africans as insensitive, unintelligent, and subservient chattels with a narrative showcasing only their humanity, military prowess, and commitment to revolutionary emancipation. The essay reexamines James’s treatment of the enslaved as emancipators and the implication of his nearly absolute deracination of the revolution for the historiography of subaltern abolitionism.

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