Sunday, March 25, 2018

What is Daniel Livesay reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Daniel Livesay, author of Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833.

His entry begins:
I have been on something of an eclectic reading journey recently. I just finished Steve Martin’s Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life. I’ve always been a fan of Martin – The Jerk was my favorite movie as kid – and so I was interested in reading more about his meteoric rise to fame. In the memoir, Martin navigates the ups and downs of an early life in standup comedy. So much of that life was filled with rejection, isolation, and only temporary reprieves of audience appreciation. What stuck out so much to me was the degree of loneliness that Martin experienced while he was...[read on]
About Children of Uncertain Fortune, from the publisher:
By tracing the largely forgotten eighteenth-century migration of elite mixed-race individuals from Jamaica to Great Britain, Children of Uncertain Fortune reinterprets the evolution of British racial ideologies as a matter of negotiating family membership. Using wills, legal petitions, family correspondences, and inheritance lawsuits, Daniel Livesay is the first scholar to follow the hundreds of children born to white planters and Caribbean women of color who crossed the ocean for educational opportunities, professional apprenticeships, marriage prospects, or refuge from colonial prejudices.

The presence of these elite children of color in Britain pushed popular opinion in the British Atlantic world toward narrower conceptions of race and kinship. Members of Parliament, colonial assemblymen, merchant kings, and cultural arbiters--the very people who decided Britain’s colonial policies, debated abolition, passed marital laws, and arbitrated inheritance disputes--rubbed shoulders with these mixed-race Caribbean migrants in parlors and sitting rooms. Upper-class Britons also resented colonial transplants and coveted their inheritances; family intimacy gave way to racial exclusion. By the early nineteenth century, relatives had become strangers.
Learn more about Children of Uncertain Fortune at the publisher's website.

The Page 99 Test: Children of Uncertain Fortune.

Writers Read: Daniel Livesay.

--Marshal Zeringue