This deeply researched, clearly written book is a history of black society and its relations with whites in the Bahamas from the close of the American Revolution to emancipation. Whittington B. Johnson examines the communities developed by free, bonded, and mixed-race blacks on the islands as British colonists and American loyalists unsuccessfully tried to establish a plantation economy. The author explores how relations between the races developed civilly in this region, contrasting it with the harsher and more violent experiences of other Caribbean islands and the American South.
Interpreting church documents and Colonial Office papers in a new light, Johnson presents a more favorable conclusion than previously advanced about the conditions endured by victims of the African Diaspora and by Creoles in the Bahama Islands. He makes use of an impressive and important body of archival and secondary research. Race Relations in the Bahamas will be a book of great interest to southern historians, historians of slave societies and black communities, scholars of race relations, and general readers.