BLACK HISTORY

Florida’s History of African Resistance

The story of the Maroons is missing from American education

'bumpyjonas…
Momentum
Published in
5 min readAug 9, 2023

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Leonard Parkinson, Maroon Leader, Jamaica, 1796 — Public Domain image

Last week, I saw one of my mentors — the filmmaker Haile Gerima. He was working when I stepped into his editing station, located in the heart of Washington D.C., near Howard University. At the time, Gerima was busy editing two documentary films, one about the war between Italy and Ethiopia and another about Maroons in America.

If you have never heard of Maroons, it may be a good time to read up on them or watch some documentaries because their history is fascinating. Most Americans have never heard of Maroons because, like much of Black history, their stories have been hidden in obscurity. There’s a reason why.

Have you heard of the Maroons?

Maroons have been described in various ways, but the most consistent feature is they are self-liberated Africans who ran away or escaped slavery and fought to remain free. Often, they formed hidden communities and plotted uprisings to liberate other Africans—some formed bonds with Native American communities, finding allies to aid them in their struggle. This slice of history is beyond the watered-down tales that often find their way into history classes. Most Americans don’t realize that Maroons…

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'bumpyjonas…
Momentum

word scratcher, baller, shot caller, born in a city made of chocolate.