CRITICAL PLACES / SITES OF AMERICAN SLAVE REBELLION


2019-Ongoing


Back Alley. York, Pennsylvania. 2019. The Margaret Bradley Conspiracy of 1803.






U.S.Highway 17 at Wallace River, South Carolina. 2020. The Stono Rebellion of 1739.






Saint Simon's Island, Georgia. 2021.The Igbo Landing Mass Suicide of 1803.






Astoria, Queens, New York. 2021. The Newtown Revolt of 1708.






Southern Soul. Saint Simon's Island, Georgia. 2021. The Igbo Landing Mass Suicide of 1803.






Colorado County, Texas. 2022. The Slave Insurrection Panic of 1856.






Barn. Cherry Grove Plantation. Adams County, Mississippi. 2021. The Second Creek Conspiracy of 1861






Mike's Ice House. Eagle Lake, Texas. 2022. The Slave Insurrection Panic of 1856.






Truth Church. Louisville, Mississippi. 2021. The Winston County Conspiracy of 1859.








CRITICAL PLACES; AMERICAN SITES OF SLAVE REBELLION

 

(2019-Ongoing)

 

While the sites photographed here are ordinary places, commonplace America, these are not random places. As we learn that each was the site of a slave rebellion, a shift takes place in how we view the images; we now understand them for their significance as photographs of critical places in the topography of our historical consciousness.

There is a generally vague awareness of only a handful of these stories of violent revolt and retaliation. Most remain obscure, and there has been little effort to mark them in the landscape. Along with visiting these sites I have been researching the history. What has struck me is that these events, as well as the way they are remembered (or lack thereof), are particularly insightful towards an understanding of how the legacy of slavery still impacts so many of our social patterns and economic structures.

So far I have worked on twelve sites, a selection of which is presented here. The images I have taken on this "American road trip" of mine look to convey the site's anywhere-ness, to speak to the fact that these rebellions happened everywhere. Yet the photographs are also, by their very nature, specific to time and place. That specificity is elaborated on in texts relating what I have been able to find out about each rebellion. These texts are also about my experience visiting the site and my thoughts on the particular relevance of that rebellion story to issues we face today. Thus with image and text site confronts event, present confronts past.

 











Links to texts for rebellion sites presented here:

The Newtown Revolt of 1708

The Stono Rebellion of 1739

The Igbo Landing Mass Suicide of 1803

The Margaret Bradley Conspiracy of 1803

The Slave Insurrection Panic of 1856

The Winston County Conspiracy of 1859

The Second Creek Conspiracy of 1861



Additional rebellion sites photographed to date:

Saint Inigoes, Maryland: The Easter Rebellion of 1817

Madison County, Mississippi: The Madison and Hinds Counties Rebellion of 1835

Cheneyville, Mississippi: The Cheneyville Conspiracy of 1837

Bracken County, Kentucky: The Doyle Stampede of 1848

Lewis County, Missouri: The Lin Uprising of 1849