• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Rebellions in the African Diaspora

A rebellion by the enslaved is an action or process resisting slavery’s authority, control, or tradition(s), and often includes actions such as flight, revolts, sabotage, self-mutilation, strikes, and suicide. Such rebellions by enslaved Africans took many forms— ranging from individual efforts to destroy the slave system, to individual acts of defiance, to mass attempts to overthrow the system.

Rebellions can be categorized as either instrumental or expressive. Instrumental rebellions are explicitly aimed at systematic change, whereas expressive rebellions do not necessarily strive for specific change but, rather toward diffuse goals to send a message. Often, instrumental rebellions were carefully planned and organized. For instance, the planned invasion of Richmond, Virginia, by Gabriel Prosser and over 1,000 enslaved persons is an example of an ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles