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The Three Faces of Post-Emancipation Migration in Martinique, 1848-1865

Black Caribbean Literature (BCL)
Brown,Laurence (Author)
Journal Article
Publication Date:
Barbados: University of the West Indies, Department of History
African American Research Center, Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject Term:
Caribbean area, History, Martinique, Slavery, Labor relations, Emigrants and immigration, Emancipation, Migration, internal
Internal, indentured and regional migration were tightly interlinked in post-emancipation Martinique by both contemporary perceptions and migrant actions. Anticipating a flight from the estates, colonial elites were committed before emancipation to constructing a replacement workforce through immigration. Indentureship was therefore a reaction to a crisis of labour relations rather than of labour supply. Such schemes also stimulated regional movements, from marronage by indentured Africans and Asians to recruitment efforts in the British West Indies. Viewed together, the three faces of post-emancipation migration reveal the continuing tension between the colony's search for coerced labour and the migrants' assertions of agency. [abstract];