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Chapter 8 and 9, Runaways and Maroons; Revolts in the Age of Revolution,
Breaking The Chains by William L. Katz "will force many readers to reexamine their assumptions about American history… Young readers will be fascinated and better informed for having experienced this book,” wrote School Library Journal. Striking photographs highlight this unknown heritage.”
— Black Child Magazine, February/March 1997
The story of Maroon communities in the Americas is one of the most important and fascinating chapters in the history of New World societies. However, it is a story that is not well known. Scholarly research and forensic archaeology are increasingly uncovering the evidence of Maroon settlements that have been a part of the US from the 1600s until the 1900s, but were hidden in plain view. Not only is little known about Maroon encampments established throughout the southern US, but our history books include little trace of the agency of Africans, who were forcibly brought to the US and enslaved, but employed military and diplomatic strategies in international relations, represented Native nations in negotiations with the US government, launched cottage industries, and built lasting communities long before the end of the Civil War.
Over Two hundred years ago, while the elite in New Orleans were making their usual preparations for Mardi Gras. Plantation owners were planning all-night parties, and the women of the house were looking forward to elaborate masquerades and balls.
What they didn't know is while they were planning for their annual carnival festivities, their slaves were planning a little something of their own.
On one fateful night, 500 armed slaves rose up from the plantations and set out to conquer the city.
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