Edward Long and the Work of Re-Remembering
This chapter explores the legacy of Edward Long, plantation owner, politician, pro-slavery activist and famed historian of eighteenth-century Jamaica. Slave-owners have until recently been for the most part ignored in the mainstream of British history, yet over centuries they made significant contributions to Britain’s wealth, politics and culture. Long, one of the most articulate protagonists of racial hierarchies, came from a family of Jamaican slave-owners who were prominent in the defence of what they saw as the rights of freeborn Englishmen, the right to hold others enslaved. His practice of disavowal, knowing and not knowing the humanity of Africans, has remained central to racial thinking into the present.
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