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Slave Revolts w/ Author Greg Grandin, "The Empire of Necessity"

  • Broadcast in Education
The Gist of Freedom

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Toni Morrison said, "The Empire of Necessity is scholarship at it's best. Greg Grandin's deft penetration into the marrow of the slave industry is compelling, brilliant, and necessary."

Join The Gist of Freedom Tonight www.blackHistoryBLOG.com as we discuss the book  "The Empire of Necessity" with author Greg Grandin!

Tryal was the ship whose human “cargo” had rebelled, murdered their owner along with a score of other whites and demanded that Cerreño sail them back to Africa. Fifty years later, Melville made Delano’s story the basis of a short novel that he called “Benito Cereno.” Grandin writes  about the unknowable inner lives of the Revolters, a reticence that elevates the novella far above the antislavery manifestoes of  the slavery era in which the enslaved appear in one form of caricature or another. He conveyed the horror of slavery while looking unblinkingly at the reciprocal fury of self-liberated slaves toward those who had enslaved them.

Grandin …. reconstructing the world through which the revolters moved toward their strike at freedom, he has done more than any previous scholar — and there have been many — to illuminate the context of the work in which Melville confronted slavery without presuming to comprehend its vast ramifications. “The Empire of Necessity” is also a significant contribution to the largely impossible yet imperative effort to retrieve some trace of the countless lives that slavery consumed.