Secluded in the forests, the swamps and the mountains, or hidden at the borders of plantations, maroons all over the Americas led unique, secret lives, while fiercely maintaining their independence. On June 10 and 11, the Lapidus Center focused on their extraordinary experience. Both evenings, the auditorium was packed.
Omar H. Ali (“Benkos Bioho: African Maroon Leadership in New Grenada”;) Sylviane A. Diouf (Slavery’s Exiles: The Story of the American Maroons) and Richard Price (author, notably, of Travels with Tooy: History, Memory, and the African American Imagination and Rainforest Warriors: Human Rights on Trial) traced the Maroons’ history and stories from 16th century Colombia to 18th and 19th century North America, and 21st century Suriname. The public was enthusiastic.
“The Maroon evening was magical,” stressed Richard Price,” I’ve never given a talk where the audience was so engaged, reacting viscerally to the struggles of these proud black rebels and their descendants who are fighting to maintain their sovereign space in the world. It was a thrill to share the story of the Saamaka people with such a receptive and reactive audience.”