Black Sage (Phillip Murray) is an extempo artist from Trinidad and Tobago. For more than 25 years Black Sage has been thrilling audiences with his highly skilled and entertaining ability to compose calypso verses right on the spot—he is a master of the art of ‘Extempo’ singing (see an example of one of Sage’s performances, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2LEm-BJeH4&lc=z220yjz4ak3xudh2iacdp431bkabi3p3gun1osn3yr5w03c010c). A three-time Trinidad and Tobago champion in this arena, Black Sage has toured extensively throughout the Caribbean, Guyana, Canada, Costa Rica, India, the US and Scotland. Not only has he entertained at traditional music events, but also he has shared his craft at literary and story-telling festivals locally and internationally. Apart from composing and performing his own calypsos, Black Sage has also won acclaim as an actor after appearing in leading roles in a trilogy of calypso dramas made for the stage by playwright Rawle Gibbons, namely: ‘Sing De Chorus’, ‘Ah Wanna Fall’ and ‘Ten To One’.
Yvonne Lyon is a singer songwriter, musician and teacher based in Greenock, Scotland. She frequently collaborates on multi-disciplinary arts-based projects. In 2013, Yvonne was artist in residence with Absent Voices, exploring the legacy of sugar in Scotland through song, film, poems and visual art, while seeking to raise awareness of the story and its connections to the local community. For more information about Yvonne’s work, see: https://www.yvonnelyonmusic.com/about/
Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow is a Jamaican-American interdisciplinary artist living and working in Queens, New York, USA. Her work explores performance and installation art, drawing on themes such as: nostalgia for homeland, Caribbean folklore, fantasy, feminism, globalism, spirituality, environmentalism, and migration. Jodie holds a BFA with honours from the New World School of the Arts, University of Florida, and an MFA from Hunter College, CUNY, New York. Her exhibitions include Jamaican Pulse: Art and Politics from Jamaica and the Diaspora, Royal West Academy of England, Bristol, UK (2016); a special project commission at Jamaica Biennial, The National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston (2017); Live Action 12 in Gothenburg, Sweden (2017); and Guangzhou Live 5: An International Performance Art Festival, China (2014). Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Huffington Post, and Hyperallergic. Jodie has received awards from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, Franklin Furnace Fund, Queens Council on the Arts, the Consulate General of the United States and Guangzhou, among others.
Marva is a guitarist and ‘edutainer’ from Trinidad and Tobago. Her critical involvement in the arts began in 1992, when she debuted as a guitarist for Rawle Gibbons’s ‘Ah Wanna Fall’,a groundbreaking calypso drama about the Mighty Spoiler. Since then, Marva has worked extensively in various band leading and music directing roles in folk and calypso theatre, with respected thespians such as Louis McWilliams, Rhoma Spencer, Dr. Lester Efebo Wilkinson and Eugene Williams. Known for her authentic and flavourful guitar playing, she has helped re-create the melodious earthiness of calypso’s essence in several productions staged both locally and internationally— notably among them: ‘Rum and Coca-Cola’ (1993), ‘De Roaring Seventies’ (New York, 2015) ‘Sing De Chorus’(2018) and ‘Bitter Cassava’ (2016 & 2019). Marva delights in spreading positive musical vibrations through her acoustic quartet, Kairi Kaiso (see one of her international performances here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE2MUyRq1F0). Her performances celebrate the masters of the calypso art form, while preserving Trinidad and Tobago’s rich cultural heritage in an entertaining and uplifting manner. Marva holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Linguistics from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad.
Michael Nicolson is an acclaimed actor and director in Jamaica and internationally. Jamaican audiences know Michael as the lovable ‘Stringbean’ in the Jamaican soap opera, Royal Palm Estate (The Blackburns of Royal Palm Estate), but he has also played title roles for plays and films including: Basil Dawkins’ No Dirty Money, Aston Cooke’s Front Room, Louis Mariott’s Bedward, Trevor Rhone’s Positive, The Plumber, Adopted Child, Scandal, Bang Belly Hotel, The Politicians, Over Mi Dead Body, Jamaica 2 Rahtid, Jamaica 2 Rahtid 2, and Concubine, and Patrick Brown’s Oliver Posse, which earned him an ITI Actor Boy Award for Best Actor in a supporting role in 2000. Michael has played major roles in Trevor Rhone’s One Love, and Nick Cannon’s King of the Dancehall. He has directed performances such as Jamaica 2 Rhaatid; Front Room; Bashment Granny 2; Aston Cooke’s award winning comedy, Single Entry; David Tullock’s Wine & Roses and Confessions; Karl Hart’s Dem Good Ole Days. He earned an ITI Actor Boy Nomination as best director for Dem Good Ole Days. Michael is now inspiring young creative minds at Ardenne High School, some of whom are making great strides in the theatre industry. He continues to serve as an events specialist at the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, where he recently received the badge of honour for twenty-seven years of service. Michael has received other prestigious awards from Probemaster Entertainments.
A Brief History of Scottish Connections to Sugar and Slavery
Sugar is not just a commodity but a set of social relationships across space and time.[i] Since the seventeenth century, sugar has shaped all aspects of Caribbean life, from land use to social standing, from ethnic divides to dietary preferences.[ii] In this very brief history, the focus is on relationships between Scotland and the Caribbean, with reference to a few secondary historical sources related to sugar and slavery in Scottish history (acknowledging that this only touches the surface of this growing literature).
Scottish sugar planters first settled on the islands of St Kitts and Nevis in the 1660s.[iii] After the violent decimation of the Indigenous population (through force or disease), British indentured servants were imported to cultivate sugar on the islands.[iv] With the rise of plantation production, enslaved Africans gradually replaced indentured servants. Scottish enslavers included William Wardrop and William Coulhoun. In the late seventeenth century, both men exported sugar from their plantations on St Kitts to Glasgow. Later in the century, two other Scots made a fortune out of sugar and slavery, still on St Kitts and Nevis: William McDowall and James Milliken. Both had links to sugar houses (refineries) in Glasgow, and between them they owned hundreds of slaves.[v] McDowall and Milliken were not only involved in sugar trading, but also owned ships used to move enslaved Africans from West Africa to the Caribbean.[vi] Before 1772, it was legal, if contentious, to enslave people on British soil; thus, when McDowall retired to Scotland, he came with his enslaved people.[vii]
McDowall’s letters tell us a lot about cane sugar cultivation and processing:
The sugar took about eighteen months to mature, during which time the labour force were forced to prepare, plant, tend, weed and care for numerous fields or cane ‘pieces’. When the cane was ripe, it was harvested, crushed in mills, boiled in coppers and processed by boiling and crystallised into raw sugar. It was then barrelled and shipped to the main British ports, where it was further refined in sugarhouses, to produce palatable sugar and rum.[viii]
The enslaved were underfed and malnourished, feeding themselves from provision grounds and dooryard gardens,[ix] if they were lucky to access land. Indeed, most planters spent only the minimum amount of funds on clothing and other necessities for their slaves.[x] As the enslaved population of the Caribbean increased over time, British planters enacted brutal laws and methods that kept their power over enslaved people in check. If a planter killed his slave, he was not a murderer.[xi] According to the laws of the islands, the planter had not even committed a crime.
In the 1670s, Scottish planters moved to Surinam, a Dutch colony. By 1680, the Highlander Henry MacKintosh had become the third largest plantation owner in Surinam, with 30 slaves.[xii] By 1684, MacKintosh owned 73 slaves: 70 were Africans, and three were Indigenous.[xiii] These early links between the Scottish Highlands and Dutch colonies led to the trade of Dutch-produced sugar in the Highlands of Scotland. Dutch ships would sometimes load horses near Inverness, and import sugar-related products.[xiv] From early documents, including a 1683 recipe book from the Gordon Earls of Sutherland and Martin Martin’s journals of his travels to the Highlands, we know that sugar-related products were used throughout the Highlands at this time, although mostly by the elite.[xv] In the Lowlands, sugar refining became a key industry. Between 1667 and 1701, four sugar refineries were founded in the Scottish Lowlands: three in Glasgow and one in Leith.[xvi]Many more refineries were to be founded in 18th and 19th century Greenock, a port town on the west coast of Scotland that was to become known as Sugaropolis.
Much of what we know about the lives of enslaved peoples in the Caribbean comes from official records, travelogues and journals written by planters, governors, or sometimes planters’ wives. John Gabriel Stedman, a half Scottish, half Dutch Lieutenant born in 1745, left for the Dutch colony of Surinam in 1771.[xvii]His mission was to help the Dutch colonial government in their fight against the Maroons (enslaved peoples who fled to mountainous areas). During his time in Surinam, Stedman collected flora and fauna specimens and reported his experiences in his Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Suriname, published in 1796 (see cover image).[xviii] In 1774, Stedman visited the Fairfield plantation, which had been, almost a century earlier, the plantation of Henry MacKintosh.[xix]
Stedman’s narrative gives us glimpses into life on a sugar plantation. In one anecdote, Stedman describes the treatment of an enslaved person who is violently punished for tasting the sugar he produced:[xx]
Should a Negro Slave dare to taste that Sugar which he produces by the Sweat of his Brow, he would run the hazard of paying the expense by some hundred lashes, if not by the breaking out of all his teeth; Such are the hardships, and Dangers to which the Sugar-Making-Negroes are exposed.[xxi]
The above extract tell us about the quotidian violence found on sugar plantations. While in his writings Stedman deplored such treatment of the enslaved, he was still an apologist for slavery. Indeed, Stedman defended the institution of slavery and he himself owned one enslaved person and attempted to purchase an enslaved woman, Joanna, with whom he was in an exploitative romantic relationship (see story 11, below).[xxii]
By the late eighteenth century, the wealth of Scottish towns such as Glasgow and Greenock was largely derived from slavery, in trades such as sugar, tobacco, red herring and cotton. During this period, Scottish planters started settling on the island of Jamaica.[xxiii] The military officer John Campbell was one of the first Scots to settle and make a fortune there, on the backs of enslaved peoples. He soon encouraged some of his kinsmen to join him, and the Campbells quickly became the third largest plantation owners on the island.[xxiv]From the standpoint of planters-to-be, Jamaica had a lot of potential. Through the institution of the Crown patent, it was possible to buy large swathes of land for very little money. Jamaica was to become the most profitable of the sugar islands owned by the British.[xxv]
From the late eighteenth century, pro-slavery British campaigners began to encounter serious opposition.[xxvi] In Scotland, men like James Ramsay, who had first-hand experience of slavery on the plantations, or Zachary Macaulay, who had lived in Jamaica, spread information about the brutal conditions experienced by enslaved Caribbeans, which incited anti-slavery sentiments across Britain.[xxvii] James Beattie was well-known for his anti-slavery lectures in Aberdeen, and William Dickson, who recorded African diasporic songs from his station in Barbados (some of which are included in our Songs Collection), wrote anti-slavery petitions, which were then sent to Parliament.[xxviii] Besides the view that slavery was inhumane, churchmen worried that the slave trade would hamper Christian missionary work in Africa.[xxix] Not all perceived the end of the slave trade as necessary, however. James Adair, Scottish surgeon and judge who had practised in Antigua, argued that, since the enslaved were sometimes seen singing and dancing, they must be content with their lot.[xxx] In a grotesque move, Adair used the performance art of the African diasporic culture to justify the continued violence of slavery.
By the nineteenth century, the port of Greenock became the centre for Scottish sugar refining, with 400 ships a year transporting sugar from the Caribbean to Greenock’s fourteen sugar refineries.[xxxi] As Greenock became a global hub for sugar refining, it attracted a diverse community that stretched far beyond its trade with the West Indies. Italian confectioners, German sugar bakers and migrants from the Highland Clearances and Irish potato famine mixed with native labour. The industry created an elite of wealthy shipyard and refinery owners; some erected grand residences on profits from sugar, enslavement and sugar work.
The 1997 closure of the last sugar house in Greenock, Tate & Lyle’s Westburn refinery, changed the industrial landscape of Greenock. It also reflected wider changes in the global political economy of sugar, including the consolidation and neoliberalisation of the sugarcane industry on both sides of the Atlantic.[xxxii]
The Living Histories of Sugar project explores what scholars and performance artists can do when they come together to uncover not only the brutal effects of sugar but also the unfinished nature of its transnational histories and geographies. By re-working archival materials, the project invites performance artists and audiences to question the roots that bind people to place and the routes that connect people over space and to global sugar networks.
[i] Mintz, Sidney. 1985. Sweetness and Power: the Place of Sugar in Modern History. New York: Penguin.
[ii] Wilson, Marisa. 2017. ‘Cuban Exceptionalism? A Geneology of Postcolonial Food Networks in the Caribbean’. In her Postcolonialism, Indigeneity and Struggles for Food Sovereignty, edited by Marisa Wilson. New York and London: Routledge, pp. 146-174.
[iii] Nisbet, S.M., 2015. ‘Early Scottish Sugar Planters in the Leeward Islands c. 1660-1740’, in Devine, T.M., 2015. Recovering Scotland’s Slavery Past: the Caribbean connection. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 62-81, p.62
[iv] ibid.: 63
[v] Nisbet 2015: 67-8, 70
[vi] ibid.: 72
[vii] Nisbet 2015: 73
[viii] Nisbet 2015: 66
[ix] Carney, J. 2021. ‘Subsistence in the Plantationocene: Dooryard Gardens, Agrobiodiversity, and the Subaltern Economies of Slavery’. J of Peasant Studies 48(5): 1075-1099.
[x] ibid.: 71-2
[xi] Nisbet 2015: 67-9
[xii] Worthington, D., 2020. ‘Sugar, Slave-owning, Suriname, and the Dutch Imperial Entanglement of the Scottish Highlands before 1707’, Dutch Crossing, 44:1, pp. 3-20, p.8
[xiii] ibid.: 8
[xiv] Worthington 2020: 4, 10, 12
[xv] ibid.: 11
[xvi] Worthington 2020: 11
[xvii] Bohls, E.A., 2014. Slavery and the Politics of Place: representing the colonial Caribbean 1770-1833. Cambridge: Cambridge University press, p.60
[xviii] ibid.: 54, 56
[xix] Worthington 2020: 13
[xxi] Stedman, J.G., 1988, Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam. Transcribed from the original 1790 manuscript, ed. by Richard Price & Sally Price, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, p.282
[xxii] Bohls 2014: 66
[xxiii] Graham, E.J., 2015. ‘The Scots Penetration of the Jamaican Plantation Business’, in Devine, T.M., 2015. Recovering Scotland’s Slavery Past: the Caribbean connection. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 82-98, p.82-3
[xxiv] ibid.: 84
[xxv] Graham 2015: 95-6
[xxvi] Whyte, E., 2015. ‘“The Upas Tree, beneath whose pestiferous shade all intellect languishes and all virtue dies”: Scottish public perceptions of the slave trade and slavery, 1756-1833’, in Devine, T.M., 2015. Recovering Scotland’s Slavery Past: the Caribbean connection. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 187-205, p.187
[xxvii] ibid.: 191, 195
[xxviii] Whyte 2015: 190, 194
[xxix] ibid.: 193
[xxx] Whyte 2015: 194-5
[xxxii] Richardson, B. 2009. Sugar: Refined Power in a Global Regime. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
Credits and Acknowledgments
Attribution and credits, in order of live performance.
Please note that we do not have permissions to use all the moving images used in the performance on the website.
1. Performance poster, original design by Mark Wilson, with images from: Yvonne Lyon (original photo of Greenock’s Sugar Sheds, 2022) and "Untitled Image (Transporting Sugar Hogsheads by Boat)", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed October 19, 2022, http://slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/822
2. Ally Bally Bee - The School of Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/26965?backURL=/en/search%3Fpage%3D1%23track_26965, with original lyrics and music from Marva Newton.
3. “Making sweets.” Educational Films of Scotland, 1952. SEFA (Glasgow Group). National Library of Scotland. Reference number 1752. Running time: 10.17 minutes. https://movingimage.nls.uk/film/1752?search_term=making%20sweets&search_join_type=AND&search_fuzzy=yes)
4. Oral history material collected by Marisa Wilson, Mona Bozdog, Robin Sloan, Emma Bond, and Imogen Bevan from anonymised research participants at the Inverclyde Heritage Hub (Watt Institution) in Greenock, Scotland. 8 September 2018.
5. “John Walker & Co. Ltd., sugar refiners, Drumfrochar Road, Greenock photographed on 11 April 1968 by Eugene Jean Méhat.” 2008.72.37. Copyright McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock.
6. “Men wheeling sugar bags at the Neill, Dempster & Neill sugar refinery, Greenock, in 1894.” P3894.1. Copyright McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock, UK. https://www.inverclyde.gov.uk/community-life-and-leisure/heritage-services/collections/watt-library/local-history/sugar
7. “In one of Neill, Dempster & Neill’s sugar stores in 1894. P3894.105. Copyright McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. https://www.inverclyde.gov.uk/community-life-and-leisure/heritage-services/collections/watt-library/local-history/sugar
8. Permissions for this image were granted by the Watt Institution: https://www.inverclyde.gov.uk/community-life-and-leisure/heritage-services
9. Original song, ‘Hard, Hard Day’, Phillip Murray (Black Sage).
10. “Abram Lyle.” Photo, Fairrie, Geoffrey. The sugar refining families of Great Britain. 1951. P. 10.
11. Four images of the named estates. Credits: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Pollok_House_at_the_Pollok_County_Park,_Glasgow..JPG https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Culzean_Castle_sca3.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:DSCN6527_Geilston_House.jpg
12. Permissions for this image were granted by the Watt Institution: https://www.inverclyde.gov.uk/community-life-and-leisure/heritage-services
13. Greenwood, James. 1876. ‘At a sugar baking’. In The Wilds of London. London: Chatto and Windus.
14. “Walkers sugar refinery II.” (1961) Reference number 5152. Running time: 3.24 mins. National Library of Scotland. https://movingimage.nls.uk/film/5152
15. ‘1000 Curses on Sugar’, original waulking song by Frances Dunlop. 2013.
16. An African Chant from Barbados. Roger Gibb’s version, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdFrNPy1wIw.
17. William Clark, "Digging Holes for Planting Sugar Cane, Antigua, West Indies, 1823", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed October 5, 2022, http://slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/1116. Reproduced from William Clark, Ten Views In the Island of Antigua, in Which are Represented the Process of Sugar Making.... (London,1823). Copy held in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.
18. "Exterior of a Boiling House, on Weatherell's Estate", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed October 5, 2022, http://slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/1062. Reproduced from William Clark, Ten Views In the Island of Antigua, in Which are Represented the Process of Sugar Making (London, 1823). Copy held in the Beinecke Lesser Antilles Collection, Hamilton College Library, Clinton, NY.
19. "Exterior of a Distillery, on Weatherell's Estate", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed October 5, 2022, http://slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/3005. Reproduced from William Clark, Ten Views In the Island of Antigua, in Which are Represented the Process of Sugar Making (London, 1823). Copy held in the Beinecke Lesser Antilles Collection, Hamilton College Library, Clinton, NY.
20. "Sugar Plantation, Louisiana, 1873-74", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed October 5, 2022, http://slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/2893. Reproduced from Edward King, The Great South (Hartford, Conn., 1875), p. 83. Copy held in Special Collections, University of Virginia Library.
21. "Sugar Boiling House, Antigua, West Indies, 1823", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed October 5, 2022, http://slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/1108 Reproduced from William Clark, Ten Views In the Island of Antigua, in Which are Represented the Process of Sugar Making.... (London,1823). Copy held in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.
22. "Shipping Sugar, Antigua, West Indies, 1823", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed October 5, 2022, http://slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/1109. Reproduced from William Clark, Ten Views In the Island of Antigua, in Which are Represented the Process of Sugar Making.... (London,1823). Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.
23. "Interior of a Distillery, on Delaps Estate", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed October 5, 2022, http://slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/1061. Reproduced from William Clark, Ten Views In the Island of Antigua, in Which are Represented the Process of Sugar Making (London, 1823). Copy held in the Beinecke Lesser Antilles Collection, Hamilton College Library, Clinton, NY.
24. Information for the Sara Williams’s scene is derived from: Paton, D., 2006. ‘Gender. Language, Violence and Slavery: Insult in Jamaica, 1800-1838’, Gender & History 18:2, pp. 246-65.
25. Film capturing artwork by Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow (girl on swing, curtain) and edited by Torris Pelichet, Pelichet Productions, 4 Oct 2022.
26. ‘Sweetest Freedom’, original song by Yvonne Lyon. 2013. See: https://yvonnelyon.bandcamp.com/track/sweetest-freedom
27. Information for the Mary Williamson scene is derived from: Paton, D., 2019. ‘Mary Williamson’s Letter, or, seeing women and sisters in the archives of Atlantic slavery’. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 29, pp. 153-79.
28. Mary Williamson to Haughton James, 26 October 1809, private collection of Nicholas John Rhodes James, Argyll, copy in the possession of Diana Paton, as cited in Diana Paton, ‘Mary Williamson’s Letter, or, Seeing Women and Wisters in the Archives of Atlantic slavery’. Trans of the Royal Historical Society, 29, pp. 153-79.
29. Filmed and edited by Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, 4 October 2022.
30. ‘Revolt of Chief Tacky’. Original poem by Alma Norman [further information TBC].
31. Stedman, J.G., 1988, Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam. Transcribed from the original 1790 manuscript, ed. by Richard Price & Sally Price, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.
32. Same as nos. 8 and 11.
33. “Making sweets.” Educational Films of Scotland, 1952. SEFA (Glasgow Group). National Library of Scotland. Reference number 1752. Running time: 10.17 minutes. https://movingimage.nls.uk/film/1752?search_term=making%20sweets&search_join_type=AND&search_fuzzy=yes)
34. “Episode 1” of Sugar Cane: Recycling Sweetness and Power in Modern Jamaica (film documentary). Directed by Franklyn (Chappie) St Juste, Co-produced by St Juste, Dr. Patricia Northover, and Dr. Michaeline Crichlow. The University of The West Indies in joint endeavour with the Government of Jamaica.
35. ‘The Flame’, original song by Marva Newton. 2022.
36. Original extempo song by Phillip Murray (Black Sage).
First and foremost, we would like to thank the performance artists on the project for your incredible dedication to this labour of love. A special thanks to Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow for contributing her original artwork and costumes for the performance. Our gratitude to the Greenlockians who shared their stories and sugar memories during the oral history research conducted for the previous Visualising Sugaropolis project in 2018. Thanks is due to Alana Ward, Grace McKelvie, Vincent Gillen, and Lorraine Murray at the Inverclyde Heritage Hub/McLean Museum of Greenock who supported the previous project through archival assistance and oral history facilitation, without which this project would have not been possible.
Our immense thanks are due to our amazing research assistant, Nathalie Bertaud, for her dedication to the project and help in completing the songs and historical biographies booklets which inspired the co-creation workshops with the performance artists last April. We would like to thank Prof Lynette Goddard of Royal Holloway University for providing expertise on modern Black theatre and historical memory as well as her extensive support during the development phase of the performance.
From the Virginia Commonwealth University, our thanks go to Dr Mary Caton Lingold, Assistant Professor of English, for her insightful suggestions and comments throughout the project and for her assistance in obtaining sound files and relevant musicology literature. And many thanks to our project partners, Dr Jonathan Greenland from the Institute of Jamaica, Kingston, and Chris Wilson from the Watt Institution, Greenock, for their support throughout the project. We would also like to thank our funders, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, of the United Kingdom Research and Innovation, for their generous support for this project.
We would like to thank the staff of various collections and universities for their help in making this performance possible. From the Universities of Abertay and Oxford, we would like to thank Dr Mona Bozdog and Prof Emma Bond (respectively), for their contributions during the early stages of the project and especially for their collaborations in earlier related projects that were drawn from for this project. From the University of Edinburgh, our thanks go to Cathlin MacAulay, Stuart Robinson, and Louise Scollay of the School of Scottish Studies Archive, for their help in obtaining the sound files for some of the archival songs used in co-creating the performance; Rachel Hosker, Archives Manager and Deputy Head of Special Collections, for her help in locating items of interest in the online collection; and to Diana Paton, William Robertson Professor of History, for permission to use her own historical work on enslaved women, cited verbally and textually in the performance.
We would like to thank Brendan Martin and other colleagues from the University of Edinburgh, School of GeoSciences, as well as Kaydiann Williams from the University of the West Indies for their ongoing support in administering the project. From the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, our thanks go to Lorraine Nero, Senior Librarian/Special Collections Librarian and Michelle Gill, Librarian, from the Alma Jordan Library, for their assistance in locating and obtaining relevant material. From the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig College, our thanks go to Heini Apajainen, for her help with the Gaelic song translations. These songs were not used in the performance but nevertheless proved an inspiration to the project overall.
We would like to acknowledge Dr Patricia Northover and her colleagues from the University of the West Indies and her institution for providing permissions to use moving images from the Sugar Cane: Recycling Sweetness and Power in Modern Jamaica for the performance. This film is being used under licence from The University of The West Indies a joint endeavour of The University of the West Indies and the Government of Jamaica. The Director of this film was the Late Franklyn (Chappie) St Juste, CD, and it was co-produced by Mr Franklyn St Juste and Drs Patricia Northover and Michaeline Crichlow.
From the Association for Cultural Equity, our thanks go to Anna Lomax Chairetakis Wood and Francesca Archiapatti Smith, for their support in locating items of interest and relevant sound files (which again were not used directly in the performance but proved inspirational during the co-creation workshops). Our thanks go to Roger Gibbs for his knowledge of Barbadian music and for permission to use his own original version of ‘Massa Buy Me’ in the performance.
From the University of Glasgow, we would like to thank Dr Stephen Mullen for his help in finding biographical information on Glasgow-based sugar merchants, as well as for his own work, which inspired the performance. We would also like to acknowledge Dr Emily Morris and Marisol Erdman from the National Library of Scotland, Moving Images Library, for their assistance in obtaining permissions for use of the moving images entitled ‘Making Sweets’ and ‘Walkers Sugar Refinery II’. Our sincere thanks go to Stuart Rae and his team at the Golden Casket Group (https://goldencasket.co.uk/about-us/) for their generous donations of Scottish boiled sweets. We are grateful to Dylan Drummond for his generous offer for filming the performance in Edinburgh.
We are grateful to the Edinburgh Futures Institute, which provided the project with funding to deliver our final performance at St Cecilia's Hall in Edinburgh. Edinburgh Futures Institute
Finally, we wish to note that many of the historic images we have used are in the public domain, and are being used for not-for-profit, research purposes.
Drs Marisa Wilson (principal investigator) and Robin Sloan (co-investigator)