Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery and Resistance” as Want to Read:
A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery and Resistance
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery and Resistance

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  215 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The story of how enslaved women struggled for freedom in the West Indies

Aside from Mary Prince, enslaved West Indian women had few opportunities to record their stories for posterity. Yet from their dusty footprints and the umpteen small clues they left for us to unravel, there’s no question that they earned their place in history. Pick any Caribbean island and you’ll find
Hardcover, 209 pages
Published October 20th 2020 by Verso Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Kick in the Belly, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Kick in the Belly

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  215 ratings  ·  23 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery and Resistance
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
writing: clear & concise
pace: great
topic: slavery, west indies, resistance, women
importance: SO MUCH. do we need any more evidence for reparations? but this is why we aren't taught abt slavery in detail
This is a really good and timely book. While if you are American -North or South- or West Indian and have studied slavery, some of the book will be familiar. there is still much to be learned from the book. Dadzie looks at the impact of slavery, mostly in the West Indies, on Black women. The book chronicles not only slavery in the West Indies but also capture and transportation. Hopefully, Dadzie's excellent book will be an introductory text to a future series dealing with women and slavery. ...more
Mar 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually rate non-fic, but this one needed ot. This was a great read!

-As my two estates are at the two extremities of the island, I am entitled to say from my own knowledge...that book-keepers and overseers kick black women in the belly from one end of Jamaica to the other- Matthew Monk Lewis
Dadzie uses clear, precise writing to document the stealing, transportation, subjugation, enslavement, and rebellion of Africans, notably our women, from The Continent to the New World.
As she p
Colin Cox
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A Kick in the Belly is a short but indispensable study of the British Empire's crimes in the 17th, 18th, and 19th-century slave trade. However, what is far more consequential is how those women, specifically enslaved West Indian women in the Caribbean, fought and resisted the brutal conditions of slavery. As Dadzie attests, enslaved African women carry "many of her race's heaviest burdens" (170). Despite those many burdens, enslaved African women were also carriers of a collective consciousness, ...more
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Thought it was great, a hard mission to fulfil the aim of the book, which is to fill the gaps caused by hundreds of years of white washing and centring europeans and white Americans at the centre of the movement for abolition. Dadzie does a great job at giving black women back their voice and their autonomy, constantly reiterating the point that black female slaves cannot be reduced to docile, sexualised beings that were indifferent and simply consigned to their fate as slaves. Consistently smas ...more
What was known as the ‘New World’ was built on colonialism, enslavement, dispossession and appropriation (there was, of course, a perfectly well functioning ‘Old World’ there before 1492 and the beginning in earnest that colonialism, enslavement, dispossession and appropriation). The continents’ Indigenous peoples bore the initial brunt of both dispossession and enslavement – but the enslavement quickly came to be carried by people stolen, kidnapped and otherwise acquired from (mainly west and w ...more
Zuky the BookBum
A really informative and accessible look into slavery in the West Indies with a particular focus on women.

This book flips the idea, that female slaves were docile and resigned to their fate, on its head. Dadzie explores Black women’s resistance and resilience against slavery and the many ways in which they took control over their own outcomes.

Highly recommended reading!!
Brindi Michele
I think this would be a great addition for any high school history classroom (or early college).
Nita (ecobookworm)
Jun 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Wow, what a book! This is a valuable record of the particular horrors that women suffered during slavery in the Caribbean, and the role they played in perseverance and resistance. It's a difficult read in terms of content, for obvious reasons - the horrors of slavery and the specific toll taken on women is graphically detailed. Information will be familiar to anyone with a background in Caribbean history, but the focus on women's stories, voices and experiences makes it worth your while.

I espec
Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An inspiring and extremely well-written study of African women in the transatlantic slave trade. Often framed as victims, A Kick in the Belly compels readers to reconsider the role of enslaved women in the struggle for freedom with stories of resistance and resiliency.
"If anything is to be learnt from this shared history of ours, it is that our capacity to challenge its legacies remains largely untapped."

A Kick in the Belly is a powerful historical examination of the lives of enslaved West Indian women. However it's far more than that, Dadzie uses her intro and afterwards to highlights how modern slavery, human trafficking, exploitation of African resources are all problems that plague us today and make this history and the legacy of the history
Jul 10, 2021 added it
-Well-written and well-researched
-Focuses on enslaved women in the Caribbean. As Dadzie notes, histories of Atlantic slavery understudy enslaved women, and as such her research is vitally important

At times it seems that Dadzie takes for granted the gender/sex binary. For example, on page 67 in reference to the fact that Jamaica was "prone to revolt," she writes: “Early Jamaican planters…are known to have expressed a preference for male slaves. Over 70 per cent of slave imports are thoug
Jul 12, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2022
3.5 - rounded up. I wish this book had been much longer, however, I thoroughly enjoyed Dadzie’s writing style and would definitely read her future works. The length may be due to the subject matter and the fact that a lot of the information about women, particularly enslaved African women and their resistance, was simply not recorded (or not recorded well). I cannot and do not fault Dadzie for that. However, she mentions several important female figures and their accomplishments rather briefly. ...more
MJ Irving
Oct 13, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This book is not just for Stella Dadzie’s 9 year self but for all of us black and brown women’s 9 year old selves who have yearned to hear our story! And, it is not just for us, it is for the world to hear. Finally.

This book is a quick read and gives such in depth analysis of an all but forgotten history.

Having read this, I’m so proud to be a descendant of such strong women who faced the atrocities of slavery and all of the additional horrors that came with being a women at that time.

The book r
Nov 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent way to share stories that are not often enough told. I highly recommend delving into the notes of this book and reading some of the reference, since this book is short and relies heavily on the reader checking out the notes. This book was eye opening for me and I suspect it would be for most people.
Inés Paris
Apr 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Five stars is simply not enough. I cried I questioned and I was washed away by her powerful, accurate, incredible writing. Thank you. EVERYONE should read this book, there is so much to do, so much to fix, so much responsibility to be taken and so much unlearning of history that needs to happen NOW.
Jun 14, 2021 rated it did not like it
I didn't actually finish this book. I wanted to like it but there were too many issues with it. The first issue was to suggest that some slave women willingly had sexual relations with white men. Secondly mentioning Wikipedia as a source for more information in regards to the book. And then to suggest that women slaves tried to get the attention of white men. ...more
Anwen Ricketts
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely incredible. Educated me on an area of history I had been completely ignorant of.
Quin Rich
Jul 18, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Important history focusing on the oppression and resistance of enslaved Black women.
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely amazing to see the lives of enslaved women illuminated and brought from the shadows to the forefront.
George Foord
Feb 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A great insight into the horrifying time of slavery.
Cameron Mackintosh
Jul 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Fantastic book but it was too short !!
Oct 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
important novel that challenges the notion that enslaved women were passive and non-resistant to their forced conditions.
rated it it was amazing
Jan 31, 2021
rated it liked it
Nov 13, 2022
rated it it was amazing
Jan 20, 2022
Kayla Fennelly
rated it really liked it
Jan 24, 2021
Dominika Mišková
rated it it was amazing
Mar 02, 2022
Eli Winter
rated it liked it
Jul 02, 2022
rated it liked it
Jan 03, 2021
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: please add page count 2 7 Dec 11, 2020 09:59PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Heartstopper: Volume Three (Heartstopper, #3)
  • Heartstopper: Volume Two (Heartstopper, #2)
  • Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again: Women and Desire in the Age of Consent
  • A World Without Police: How Strong Communities Make Cops Obsolete
  • The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice
  • The Memory Police
  • How to Blow Up a Pipeline
  • Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity in This Crisis (And the Next)
  • You Had Me at Hola (Primas of Power, #1)
  • Feminist City: A Field Guide
  • Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power
  • Glitch Feminism
  • The Game You Played
  • The Hirschfeld Archives: Violence, Death, and Modern Queer Culture
  • The Secret of Crickley Hall
  • Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain
  • More Than Human
  • The Housekeeper and the Professor
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Stella Dadzie is a British educationalist, activist, writer and historian and a founder member of Organisation for Women of Asian and African Descent (OWAAD). Her career as a writer, speaker and education activist spans over 40 years, gaining her an international reputation in her field.

Related Articles

November is Native American Heritage Month in the United States. To join in the celebrations, we’ve sorted through our recent archives to...
480 likes · 174 comments