‘Maroon’ is a Spanish Term, (taken from cimarron ) to
describe Africans who escaped slavery and created their
own societies in the New World.
In almost every place in the ‘New World’ are enclaves
of the descendents of free Africans.
The United States of America is one of the few places
that does not have a large and independent Maroon
As early as 1512 Africans had escaped their Spanish
owners in all the territories they occupied. In Brasil,
the Portuguese lost many slaves to the forests.
Getting Africans alive across the Atlantic Ocean
did not mean that they would be slaves.
Although there were Maroon communities on the
smaller islands of the Caribbean, many disappeared
as the colonists moved further inland.
Jamaica is one of the best examples of how Africans
escaped bondage, and maintained their freedom.
There are rugged mountains running through the
center of Jamaica. A group, reaching a plateau,
could create impregnable villages where they
could grow their own food and capture the
indigenous animals for meat.
As the Spanish had committed genocide before the
transportation of Africans to Jamaica, there were
no indigenous people. Hence, Jamaican Maroons
remained of unmixed African heritage.
In areas where genocide was not practiced,(as in
Puerto Rico) Maroons would often intermarry into
the Ameri-Indian communities.
True Maroon communities maintain the culture and
language of Africa. Many Akan words, for example,
are in Jamaican dialect.
In Suriname, there are diverse tribes of Maroons, i.e.
Saramaka, Paramakans , the Ndyuka, Kwiniti and the
The Saramaka speak a language made up of words
drawn from Portuguese, English, Dutch and Sub-
Saharan languages, primarily Kongo, Akari and Gbe.
That most African Americans are unaware of Maroon
communities is the result not merely of the suppression
of history by the ‘White’ world nor the brainwashing of
the Black population, but the refusal to believe facts
that go ‘against’ accepted history.
That many of you are reading this essay as if a flight
of fancy, a simple Google of ‘Maroons’ will open a world
of information you never imagined.