Infanticide by Barbados slave mothers – an expression of resistance?


It is truly disturbing to think that Bajan mothers murdered their own newborns as an act of rebellion to deny human slave assets to their captors and owners.

We know that as the Atlantic slave trade and supplies of new slaves dried up due to the efforts of abolitionists, plantation owners in the Caribbean and USA placed the emphasis on breeding new stock. The record is clear that some plantation owners thought it their right to impregnate their slaves with white blood for ‘better product’.

It is difficult to think that captive human beings were treated as property to this extent, but that was the reality of the day. The master had all rights, the female slave had none.

As you read the following article, just remember this…

There are more slaves held in captivity today than at any other time in history.

The obvious response to slave infanticide is to conceptualize it as an act of desperation, a sad act, or an act of altruism, in the sense that it was intended to save enslaved children from a life of hard labor, degradation, and physical, sexual, and mental abuse.

But what if slave infanticide, in all its horror, was an expression of resistance? To conceptualize it this way places agency back in the hands of the slave women who killed their children, because it assumes that their decision was actively, discursively antagonistic and insurrectionary.

… from Infanticide as Slave Resistance: Evidence from Barbados


Filed under Barbados, Human Rights, Slavery

4 responses to “Infanticide by Barbados slave mothers – an expression of resistance?

  1. Freedom Now

    The brutality and hopelessness of slavery didn’t end with emancipation. BFP is so right that millions continue in slavery, mostly in the Muslim nations because slavery is authorized by the Qu’aran.

  2. robert ross

    Agreed…then wouldn’t it be sensible to explore it rather than post a piece whose thrust, so far as we are concerned, is rooted in the conditional “But what if…?”


    Every one is a Slave for self or others, So we all are slaves , now Slavery is what you need to look out for, If you work for any person or any company as an employee the you are a slave being paid , If you are under paid for the work you do then you have a JOB and now being under paid and that is Slavery, If you do a crime and go to Jail now you are in Slavery
    They replace the word Master and Slave with Employer and Employee ,
    So in other Muslim county they still used the original terms and did not switch them on that side of the Atlantic Ocean , As Mary is a Moor over there and non- Moor over here.