Intimate Direct Democracy: Fort Mose, The Great Dismal Swamp, and the Human Quest for Freedom


By Modibo Kadalie

Modibo Kadalie’s latest book is a critical reexamination of the history and historiography surrounding two sites of African maroonage in North America: The Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia and North Carolina; and Fort Mose in Florida.

Kadalie argues that maroon communities like these were actually ethnically diverse sites where freedom-seekers fleeing oppressive societies established communites of resistance through socially intimate forms of democracy. In these communities, directly democratic traditions carried by enslaved peoples from West Africa converged with those of indigenous North Americans as the struggle against slavery and settler colonialism grew and evolved over hundreds of years, from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century.

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