This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: hat were so resistant and so vibrant
that the social relations of slavery must not have done much damage at all. Even if this particular accusation is a form of caricature, it contains an important insight, that
the agency of the weak and the power of the strong have too often been viewed as simple opposites. The anthropologist
David Scott is probably correct to suggest that for most scholars, the power of slaveholders and the damage wrought by slavery have been “pictured principally as a
negative or limiting force” that “restricted, blocked, paralyzed, or deformed the transformative agency of the slave.”44 In this sense, scholars who have emphasized
slavery’s corrosive power and those who stress resistance and resilience share the same assumption. However, the violent domination of slavery generated political action; it was not antithetical to it. If one sees power as productive and the fear of social death not as
incapacity but as a generative force—a peril that motivated enslaved activity— a different image of slavery slides
into view, one in which the object of slave politics is not simply t...
View Full Document
This document was uploaded on 03/26/2014.
- Spring '14