BBC World Service – The Documentary, My granny the slave

Writer Claire Hynes goes on a personal journey to uncover the story of an Antiguan foremother, who is thought to be one of the first women to flee a slave plantation in the Caribbean island of Antigua.

Claire grew up learning a 200 year-old story passed down through generations about her enslaved ancestor known as Missy Williams. As a young woman Missy risked her life to escape the physical and sexual brutality of plantation life, hiding out in a cave. Inspired by her courage and intelligence, Claire travels to the island of Antigua to find out about Missy’s life, the extreme challenges she faced and how she managed to survive.

She embarks on an investigation which takes us beyond the paradise beaches to the hills, plantations and museum archives. Her findings underline the bravery and intelligence of black women like Missy who resisted atrocities, asserted their humanity and undermined the fabric of slave societies. Claire’s search for Missy Williams prompts her to ask that due recognition is given to the many extraordinary women through history who played significant roles in fights for freedom.

Produced by Rajeev Gupta

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