The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 50, Issue 2

Article 2
The Morant Bay Rebellion and Cainhoy Riot: Racial Authenticity and Emancipation in Comparative Perspective

Adam Thomas


This article compares the killing of Charles Price by black peasant-labourers during the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica (1865) with an attack by black Republicans on Martin R. Delany during the Cainhoy riot in South Carolina (1876). Despite being recognized as physically black, Price and Delany were considered racially inauthentic by assailants because of perceived allegiance with white supremacists. The article shows that constructions of race in postslavery societies often extended beyond biology to include conduct and association, and that a micro historical comparative approach focused on perceived endpoints of emancipation processes reveals overlooked similarities between Jamaica and the United States of America