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“My introduction to the history of slavery was through reggae music. It was Jamaican artists such as Bob Marley and Peter Tosh who drew me to a larger world of black history.”

A historian focused on the African Diaspora, and a documentary film producer

Vincent Brown in conversation with Edson Burton

The governor general of Jamaica has declared 8 April National Chief Takyi Day. In conversation with Edson Burton, Vincent Brown, author of Tacky’s Revolt, charts the story of the largest slave revolt in the British Empire during the 1700s.


Vincent Brown is Charles Warren Professor of American History and Professor of African and African-American Studies at Harvard University. His research, writing, teaching, and other creative endeavours are focused on the political dimensions of cultural practice in the African Diaspora, with a particular emphasis on the early modern Atlantic world.

Brown is Principal Investigator and Curator for the animated thematic map Slave Revolt in Jamaica, 1760-1761: A Cartographic Narrative (2013).

Brown was Producer and Director of Research for the award-wining television documentary Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness (2009).

His first book, The Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery (2008), was co-winner of the 2009 Merle Curti Award. His most recent book, Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War (2020), was awarded eight prizes—including the Anisfield-Wolf Award for non-fiction, the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, the Harriet Tubman Prize.