Black Majority: Race, Rice, and Rebellion in South Carolina, 1670-1740 (Paperback)

Black Majority: Race, Rice, and Rebellion in South Carolina, 1670-1740 By Peter H. Wood, Imani Perry (Foreword by) Cover Image

Black Majority: Race, Rice, and Rebellion in South Carolina, 1670-1740 (Paperback)

By Peter H. Wood, Imani Perry (Foreword by)


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Peter H. Wood’s groundbreaking history of Blacks in colonial South Carolina, with a new foreword by National Book Award winner Imani Perry.

First published in 1974, Black Majority marked a breakthrough in our understanding of early American history. Today, Wood’s insightful study remains more relevant and enlightening than ever. This landmark book chronicles the crucial formative years of North America’s wealthiest and most tormented British colony. It explores how West African familiarity with rice determined the Lowcountry economy and how a skilled but enslaved labor force formed its own distinctive language and culture. While African American history often focuses on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Black Majority underscores the significant role early African arrivals played in shaping the direction of American history.

This revised and updated fiftieth anniversary edition challenges a fresh generation with provocative history and features a new epilogue by the author.

Peter H. Wood (Duke University), coauthor of Created Equal and Powhatan’s Mantle, has received the American Historical Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award. His books include Strange New Land and Near Andersonville.
Product Details ISBN: 9781324066200
ISBN-10: 1324066202
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: January 23rd, 2024
Pages: 464
Language: English
By devoting thorough research and thoughtful attention to a long-neglected place and time, Peter H. Wood single-handedly altered the direction of early American history and our views of American slavery and racism. Black Majority vividly captures the endurance and influence of enslaved people in the face of intensifying repression, and it makes crystal clear why those formative years of American enslavement matter to all of us. This anniversary edition is both timely and inspirational.

— Daniel H. Usner, Vanderbilt University

As a native of the South Carolina Lowcountry, I encountered this meticulously researched book as an undergrad. Seeing my ancestral community given impressive agency and represented in such a deeply engaged way moved me profoundly. Black Majority is a must-read that will inspire generations to come.

— LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Mr. Wood has gone beyond any previous study of the history of slavery in the colonial period.… He has given us new perspectives not only on slavery but on human relationships in early America.
— Edmund S. Morgan, author of American Slavery / American Freedom

Easily the most thorough and the most penetrating case study yet written of the Afro-American population during the slave period.… Fascinating and instructive.
— Jack P. Greene