My novel, Tesora, is based on as much research into the facts of the era in which pirates roamed the seas of the Caribbean as I could find. Here is some of that information:
David Cordingly, from the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, is author of the definitive book on pirates, Under the Black Flag.
He says that in the years between 1715 and 1725, there was an explosion of piracy in the Caribbean that was comparable in some ways with the recent outbreak of piracy in the seas off Somalia.
In contrast to the fictions displayed in the movies, the majority of the eighteenth-century pirates were working-class sailors: naval deserters, redundant merchant seamen, and former privateers. They were not the heroic, romantic characters portrayed in the movies by Johnny Depp’s Captain Sparrow. They were hard men notorious for their foul language, heavy drinking, and casual violence.
Also, it was true that “Negroes and mulattoes were present on almost every pirate ship, and only rarely did the many merchants and captains who commented on their presence call them slaves.” Kinkor even presents examples of blacks who were leaders of predominantly white crews.
Yet, Cordingly also wrote that conversely, “pirates shared the same prejudices as other white men in the Western world. They regarded black slaves as commodities to be bought and sold, and used them as slaves on board their ships for the hard and menial jobs.”
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