Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion

Greenwood Milestones in African American History

by Junius P. Rodriguez, ed.


Slaves fought against their subhuman treatment in myriad ways, from passive resistance to armed insurrection. This encyclopedia details how slaves struggled against their bondage, highlights key revolts, and delves into important cultural and religious ideas that nurtured slaves' hunger for freedom.

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December 2006


Pages 816
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Race and Ethnicity/African American Studies

Slaves fought against their subhuman treatment in myriad ways, from passive resistance to armed insurrection. They defined their sense of self and shared humanity through an unquenchable desire to seek freedom from their oppressors. The variety of methods used by slaves to resist the institution that sought to subjugate them indicates the immense fiction that they were lesser creatures animated only by brutish instinct. The many acts of slave resistance and rebellion essentially defined the humanity of the slave. This encyclopedia details how slaves struggled against their bondage, highlights key revolts, and delves into important cultural and religious ideas that nurtured slaves' hunger for freedom. Though the primary focus is North America, the work's scope also includes the immensely important slave resistance developments in the Caribbean and South America. Selected studies of slave resistance from classical antiquity will also be considered in this work.


  • 300 cross-referenced entries, most of which conclude with lists of additional readings
  • A timeline of slave resistance and rebellion
  • A selection of primary documents
  • A thematic index
  • Numerous illustrations
  • A bibliography of print and electronic information resources
  • A detailed subject index
Table of Contents

List of EntriesList of Primary DocumentsA Guide to Related TopicsPrefaceAcknowledgmentsIntroductionChronologyEncyclopedia of Slave Resistance and RebellionPrimary DocumentsBibliographyIndexAbout the Editor and Contributors



"Both of these two entries in Greenwoods Milestones in African American History series offer a solid foothold for high school or college students beginning research on slave resistance or abolition. They cover people, places, philosophies, and popular culture and share many common features: readable, signed A-to-Z entries with short source lists; general bibliographies; chronologies; black-and-white illustrations; and subject indexes....Rodriguezs U.S.-focused Slave Resistance features some 300 cross-referenced entries, all detailed and insightful. It also includes 100 pages of primary documents ranging from transcribed congressional debates to slave narratives. Treatment is balanced; e.g., an entry on Roots author Alexander Haley mentions controversies (authenticity, plagiarism) surrounding his work but also highlights his achievements....Recommended for high school, college, and large public libraries. (Reviewed in conjunction with Encyclopedia of Antislavery and Abolition, Hinks & McKivigan, Greenwood Press)"Library Journal

"[T]his set is recommended for high school, college, and university libraries and public libraries with large reference collectioins."Multicultural Review

"[P]rovides a solid examination of the history of resistance to slavery and begins to examine some of the cultural issues that both maintained slavery and downplayed resistance....The text will serve as a good accompaniment to reference materials on slavery, so that readers understand that with slavery went resistance. It is recommended for public and academic libraries."Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin

"This new guide to slavery exposes those traditions of resistance. Many of the 268 articles describe the fate of slave conspiracies, insurrections and rebellion leaders. Others explore the roles of religion, art, music, communication networks and other facets of slave culture in providing means of personal expression and resistance to the institution of slavery....[t]he representation of slavery in primary sources, historical scholarship, motion pictures and literature is examined in detail....A selection of 60 primary sources provides excellent examples of resistance.... [t]his groundbreaking encyclopedia will make an excellent addition to academic and public libraries."Lawrence Looks at Books

"The editor engages the reader by including a section of primary documents. These documents range from slave narratives to historical newspapers and government documents. Entries are well written and the bibliography introduces users to some critical texts for further readings about slave resistance. This encyclopedia is an important contribution."Reference Reviews

"Editor Junius P. Rodriguez and his contributors fulfill an important purpose with the articles in this encyclopedia. By placing a focus on slave resistance and rebellion, they refute the notion that individuals who were turned into chattel property...lost their essential human nature to resist subjugation. And not only that, as one examines this work, it becomes obvious that the enslaved did so with all means that were possible. The articles discussing numerous forms of resistance attest to this....Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion does a significant service by bringing to the fore an aspect of slavery that deserves broader attention....Although intended for a scholarly audience, this work is equally appropriate for larger public libraries."Against the Grain

". . . historian Junius P. Rodriguez has conceived and brought to life another excellent reference work. Assembling an international body of ninety-nine scholars who have provided 267 entries as well as nearly a hundred pages of primary documents, Rodriguez has created a much-needed resource encompassing the full range of topics, subjects, and controversies surrounding slave resistance and rebellions that is as accessible to experts and students as it is to the general public."Journal of Southern History

Other Titles of Interest

Encyclopedia of Antislavery and Abolition cover imageAfrican American Chronology cover imageEncyclopedia of the Great Black Migration cover image
Writing African American Women cover imageThe Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Civil Rights cover image

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