[We] slaughtered all before us;
We left neither man or woman or child.
- British soldier
In the whole of St. Thomas-in-the-East, old man and maiden,
young men and children, them all taken up and shot by the soldiers.
In all the life of Napolien, none like this.
Innocent lives is taken
- Royal Commission 1866
The brutal suppression of the uprising in Morant Bay in October 1865 under Governor Edward Eyre and the ensuing ‘reign of terror’ is a watershed in Jamaican history. Paul Bogle and his allies, overwhelmed by colonial firepower and betrayed by Maroons in service to the British Crown, were mercilessly cut down by the elites (local and foreign) who justified their actions based on the continued belief in the subjugation and suppression of the black race by the white race, emancipation notwithstanding.
In Colour for Colour Skin for Skin, Clinton Hutton deconstructs the ideological, cultural, philosophical, economic, social and political rationale for the uprising by formerly enslaved Africans and their descendants and its violent suppression by the colonial forces, and articulates its significance in the development of a national black consciousness. This consciousness, and fight for freedom and justice, he argues, has strengthened over periods of Jamaica’s short history, evidenced by the emergence of Garveyism and Rastafari, the 1938 labour riots, and articulated in Jamaican popular music and more recently, the resurgence of Revival worship.
Using fascinating first-hand accounts of the uprising and its aftermath from the Report of the Royal Commission of 1866 and numerous newspaper reports among other sources, Hutton presents the Morant Bay Rebellion squarely at the forefront of the continuing expression of a national complex in a post colonial society.
- List of Illustrations
- List of Tables
- 1. ‘Liberty of Person Liberty of Land’:
- The ‘Morant Bay Rebellion’ – its Socio-Economic and Political Bases
- 2. ‘It is Money They [Planters] Want, and Not Labour’:
- Free Trade, Cane Sugar and a Post-Slavery Economy in Free Fall
- 3 . ‘Buckra Has Gun, Negro Has Firestick’:
- Post-Emancipation Political Struggles
- 4. ‘Their Very Independence is an Evil’:
- Cane Sugar Elites Creating Inflammable Materials in Post-slavery Society
- 5. ‘Legal Redress is Shut out from One Class Altogether’:
- Magisterial Oppression in St Thomas-in-the-East
- 6. ‘Colour for Colour, Skin for Skin’:
- The Intellectual Foundations and Leadership of the ‘Morant Bay Rebellion’
- 7. ‘You Are No Longer Slaves, But Free Men’:
- George William Gordon: The Brown Link Ideology and Politics
- 8. ‘Buccra Can’t Catch Duppy, No, No’:
- Marching into War Oh with the Spirits at Morant Bay
- 9. ‘Take a Thousand Black Men’s Hearts for One White Man’s Ear’:
- The Suppression of the Black Jamaican Masses in 1865 – A General Survey
- 10. ‘He set my house on fire, and I was in Childsbirth’:
- The Suppression of the Black Woman
- 11. Factors Which Accounted for the Defeat of the People’s Rising
- 12. The Nature of the ‘Negro Character’ Determined the ‘Character of Negro Insurrections’:
- The Philosophical and Ideological Justifications for the Suppression of the ‘Morant Bay Rebellion’
- Communion with the Spirits