My Gratitude for My Freedom Grew Profoundly After Participating in this Zooniverse Research Project
Trigger Warning: Contains depictions of human trafficking, slavery, and animal sparing matches.
Currently, I am participating in a Zooniverse study entitled “Agents of Enslavement.” This study is being hosted by the British Library’s Coleridge Fellowship, awarded to Dr. Graham Jevon of the Endangered Archives Program.
The aim of this project is to research the ways in which newspapers facilitated and challenged the practice of slavery. To that end, this initial case study will focus on two colonial newspapers published in Barbados:
The Barbados Mercury and Bridgetown Gazette (1783–1848) and The Barbadian (1822–1861)
This study aims to identify four types of newspaper advertisements and notices relating to slavery in that area.
- Enslaved people advertised for sale
- Enslaved people wanted to purchase
- Adverts seeking the recapture of enslaved people who have escaped (“runaway”)
- Adverts notifying enslavers that they can collect enslaved people that have been captured (“taken up”)
There is a trigger warning at the beginning of the study, advising that this is a very sensitive and controversial subject.
I don’t know what I expected, but I didn’t expect this.
As I read each ad, I started to feel angry.
Can you imagine not having any control over your life?
I mean, isn’t that a hot topic right now in the good old U.S. of A.?
Everyone has a right. Everyone wants control over their own lives and what they can have and what they can do.
And we all have an opinion, and we all want our opinions to be heard and our “rights” respected, right?