Jake Subryan Richards reads the letter sent by a captured man who arrived in Cuba in 1854.
An 1856 portrait shows a 40-year-old man from Benin who managed to secure his freedom after being captured. Dasalu was taken from Dahomey to Cuba, alongside over five hundred adults and children in the ship Grey Eagle. Once in Havana, he worked for the Count of Fernandina but managed to get a letter to a missionary Charles Gollmer back in Africa. Jake Subryan Richard’s essay traces the way one man’s migrations reveal the shifting boundaries of slavery and freedom.
Jake Subryan Richards teaches at the London School of Economics and was chosen as a New Generation Thinker in 2021 on the scheme run by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Council, which turns research into radio.[…]