Westmaas Examines Darker Side of Dickens on Pan African Website

Nigel Westmaas
Nigel Westmaas

Assistant Professor of Africana Studies Nigel Westmaas addresses Charles Dickens’ attitude to the non-white world in a commentary published in Pambazuka News, an online Pan-African website.


In "The Other Darker Charles Dickens," Westmaas explores the apparent paradox between Dickens’ renowned empathy for the working class in England in his novels and his support in word and deed for offensive crimes on blacks and Asians as represented in his reaction to two anti colonial revolts in the British Empire, the 1865 Morant Bay revolt in Jamaica and the Indian rebellion of 1857.


For instance Dickens, whose 200th birth anniversary is celebrated this year, joined in supporting a British governor responsible for killing hundreds in the Jamaica uprising and swore to “exterminate the Race” during the Indian revolt.

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