Critical Places

American Sites of Slave Rebellion


The sites photographed here are everyday places, commonplace America. But these are not random places; each was the site of a slave rebellion.


There were some 250 slave rebellions in America. These are stories of how the extreme violence of White enslavers was challenged by enslaved Black men and women seeking the most basic of human rights—liberty and dignity. While little is know about the overwhelming majority of these rebellions, it takes only a cursory examination of these revolts to see how they still echo through our times, reflecting social patterns and impacting economic structures. In my selection the aim is to bring forward certain aspects the rebellions, or of the sites themselves, which I have found particularly insightful to an awareness of the imprint that slavery has left on America to this day.


The project is presented as a series of the black and white, analog images accompanied by short texts situating the sites photographed in the historical context of the rebellions that took place there. Accentuated by their black and white quality, the images impart photography's ever-present timelessness. The texts provide an anchor. Together, site confronts event, present confronts past.


Ibrahim Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning brought out for me in full force the multi faceted place that slavery had in the emergence of modernity's social-economic system. I previously approached this modernity in projects such as War Story, Notes from the Periphery, and Cristina's History. It was in reading Kendi I became interested in building from those projects to photograph these sites of rebellion as critical places in the topography of our historical consciousness.



Links to preliminary information on sites photographed to date:

    York, Pennsylvania. Margaret Bradley Conspiracy, 1803. Photographed 2019.

    Astoria, Queens, NY. Newtown revolt, 1708. Photographed 2019.

    Route 17 south of Charleston, South Carolina. Stono Rebellion, 1736. Photographed 2020.

    St Inigoes, Maryland. Easter Rebellion, 1817. Photographed 2020.

    St. Simon's Island, Georgia. Igbo Landing Mass Suicide, 1803. Photographed 2021.




    Adams County, Mississippi. Second Creek Conspiracy, 1861. (Projected for October 2021)






Bellhaven. 7 1/2 minutes. 2020

Last Year.  4 minutes. 2020




February 29, 2020: Bellport Village (L.I.) street renaming action. Four streets bear the names of prominent early Bellport slave-owning families. In this one day action I am renaming those streets: the new names are of those people they owned as slaves.





                                                   Selected works available on