Our first meeting of the New Year
Thursday 27th January at 6pm
Chris Curry “‘In
Whose possession they belong:’ Black Loyalists and their Quest
for Freedom in the Bahamas.”
Within the last two decades a number of scholars
have sought to recover the social history of black loyalists—those
enslaved blacks and free persons of colour who supported the British
cause during the American Revolution. Though considerable scholarship
has documented the experiences of black loyalists and their struggles
for freedom in Nova Scotia and England, less is known about their
counterparts in the Bahamas and Jamaica. This study has as its subject
the small, but significant, group of black loyalists who sought
freedom in the Bahamas. In seeking freedom in the Bahamas, black
loyalists appropriated a political consciousness that was based
on their colonial experience in British North America. Arguably,
this political activism was shaped largely by the epoch of enslavement;
but also drew inspiration from the enlightenment ideals of liberty
and freedom and the egalitarianism of the Great Awakening revival
meetings. Upon settlement in the Bahamas, black loyalists expanded
on these Revolutionary ideas by petitioning the courts and defending
their right to liberty even while slave-owning whites deemed their
claims to be unconstitutional.
Chris Curry received Bachelor of Arts with First-
Class Honours in History at Brock University, St. Catherines, Ontario,
Canada. A Masters of Arts in History at University of Waterloo,
Waterloo Ontario, Canada; A Diploma in Education at College of The
Bahamas and is currently completing his PhD at University of Connecticut,
Storrs, Connecticut in Latin American/Caribbean History. He has
taught at St Anne’s High School and is a Lecturer in History
His publications include:
2004 with Patricia Glinton-Meicholas, Bahamians-Immigrants All.
Nassau: Guanahani Press, 2004.
2004 “A Critique of Bahamian Society After Emancipation,”
At Random, (Fall 2004): 26-28.
2005 “Christianity and Slavery in The Bahamas: A Catalyst
for Revolutionary change or a Quest for Respectability,” in
The Bahamas Historical Journal (October 2005): 4-8.
2006 with Neil Sealey, Social Studies for Bahamian Secondary Schools.
3 vols. London: Macmillan Caribbean, 2006.
2007 with Denny Curry, A History of the Churches of Christ in The
Bahamas. Victoria, B.C.: Trafford, 2007.
2007 “The contributions of Baptists to Education in The Bahamas,”
American Baptist Quarterly 26:4 (2007): 374-387.
2008 “Black Loyalists and their quest for Freedom in the Bahamas,”
The College of the Bahamas Alumni Magazine
All talks at our museum corner of Shirley Street and Elizabeth Avenue
Parking at the ex Psilinakis carpark north of the museum on Elizabeth
Ave. Entrance via First Caribbean Bank on Shirley Street. –
Thanks to Manager Byron Miller (Thanks to Philippa Moss COB English
Dept for Map below)