View Full Version : Did Pirates of Yore Get a Bad Rap?

06-12-2005, 12:20 PM
Did Pirates of Yore Get a Bad Rap? (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/CSM/story?id=831889&page=1)

This is a very interesting article about pirates. The article states that most of what we associate pirates with (raping, killing, etc) was the result of propaganda. The reasoning is that colonists dealt with pirates instead of the British, and could increase their profits and avoid British trade restrictions. I found this particularly interesting:

Scholars have also found that a large number of those aboard pirate ships were Africans, including 15 percent of those on the Whydah and as many as 60 percent of those on Blackbeard's last command, the Adventure, when he was killed. Their precise status is still a matter of debate, as documents show that many pirates sold captured slaves or, in the case of Blackbeard, failed to free the human cargo on captured slave ships. But there are also numerous instances of black crew members who shared plunder equally and, in some cases, rose to positions of authority on pirate vessels.

"One of the reasons pirates welcomed people of color aboard their ships was because they knew they would be totally committed, because they had nothing to go back to," says Rediker, who adds that pirates remain folk heroes in many former slave societies in the Caribbean.

very interesting stuff!