In, Out of, and Across Place: Jamaica Maroons and the Spatialization of Black Geographies

Authors: Alex Moulton*, Clark University
Topics: Ethnicity and Race, Social Geography, Geographic Thought
Keywords: Race, Diaspora, Black resistance
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Napoleon D2, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Through practices of maroonage fugitive slaves established communities and constituted sites of counter-colonial politics. Maroons materialize alternative modes of apprehending the world bound up in an anti-colonial ecological understanding and overlapping constellations of connivance, complicity, resistance and mimicry. Gilroy’s framework of the Black Atlantic provides and analytic for understanding these materializations. Drawing on insights from Jamaican Maroon communities, this paper argues that, Maroon is a socio-spatial and political identity that has mediated experience of and production of space. Maroon geographies are materializations of Native American, African and European practices and knowledges that intersect in ongoing processes of homing. Maroon geographies reflect perspectives of displacement and belonging that extend backwards and forwards in time and across the Atlantic space. The contours of these cartographies connect discontiguous Jamaican Maroon communities, with free villages, other Maroon communities beyond Jamaica, and subalterns everywhere. This paper explores the importance of these Maroon perspectives of place and self for Black geographies. Consideration is given to what reckoning with Maroon geographies means for Black solidarity and social movements.

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