The Stono Rebellion has been called the most important slave revolt in North American history. In this lecture, Damian Costello examines the events and the deep African roots of the 1739 uprising in South Carolina.
Recent arrivals from the Kingdom of Kongo drew on drumming traditions, military organization, and Kongolese spirituality to communicate their message of freedom. The high point of the revolt was a ceremonial dance, the sangamento, which fused African precedents and enacted the rebels’ call of liberty. Costello will also trace the sangamento tradition in the U.S. and throughout the Americas, and discuss how the Kongolese message of liberty can inform present-day efforts to overcome the lingering effects of our colonial inheritance.
About the presenter
Damian Costello received his Ph.D. in theological studies from the University of Dayton and specializes in the intersection of Catholic theology, Indigenous spiritual traditions, and colonial history. He is an international expert on the life and legacy of Nicholas Black Elk and the author of ’Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism.”
Costello was born and raised in Vermont and his work is informed by five years of ethnographic work on the Navajo Nation.