VCU history professor’s book wins gold medal 2019 Independent Publisher Book Award

Brooke Newman's book shows how colonial racial ideologies justified hereditary African slavery and also barred members of marginalized groups from claiming the inherited rights of British subjects.
Brooke Newman's book shows how colonial racial ideologies justified hereditary African slavery and also barred members of marginalized groups from claiming the inherited rights of British subjects.

A Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica,” (Yale University Press) by Brooke N. Newman, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of History in the College of Humanities and Sciences, has won a 2019 Independent Publisher Book Award.

Newman’s book won the gold medal in the category of world history. The awards are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university and self-published titles published each year.

“A Dark Inheritance” is a major reassessment of the development of race and subjecthood in the British Atlantic. Examining 18th-century Jamaica, the book shows how colonial racial ideologies rooted in fictions of blood ancestry at once justified hereditary African slavery and barred members of marginalized groups from claiming the inherited rights of British subjects.

Newman, who is also associate director of the Humanities Research Center at Virginia Commonwealth University, said she was honored by the recognition.

“It’s wonderful to have ‘A Dark Inheritance’ recognized in the Independent Publisher Book Awards and to know that this award is also a recognition of the importance of slavery studies and the colonial Caribbean to world history,” she said.