Race, terror and the slave ship


‘So, in talking with Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is actually very well known in France – and on whose case I have worked for many years – he described to me the moment when he first got an active death warrant, meaning, he was given a slip of paper with his date to die on it. That was a moment of connection between race and terror. He was a member of the Black Panther Party, he was persecuted by the Philadelphia police for many years, he was someone that they really wanted to kill for political reasons. At that moment, I realized that I could study the origin of that connection. The relationship between race and terror began on the slave ship; I could study that. It took me a long time actually to do it, because it was such a daunting challenge. But, in a very real way, the origins of this book lay in a meeting on death row in Pennsylvania.’

Marcus Rediker,  on the origins of his influential work, The Slave Ship


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