The 7 Principles of Self-Emancipation

How did the Maroon Consciousness enable escape from slavery and the establishment of sustainable societies?

The Maroon Consciousness was guided by the following Seven Principles which enabled them to be self-emancipating: 

​1. Self-definition
: the ability to define oneself; to refuse to accept a prescribed social identity or role; the Maroons refused to accept the identity or role of an enslaved person;
2. Self-direction
: a purpose and goals that one follows to create one’s own destiny. The Maroons had one purpose and goal in mind; to be free and never to be enslaved again;
3. Self-awareness: knowledge of self; of one’s own gifts and talents. The Maroons used the gifts and talents of each individual member for the good of the whole community;
4. Self-determination
: resilience; the ability to persevere and remain committed to one’s goals and dreams. The Maroons overcame tremendous obstacles to become and remain free;
5. Self-discipline
: the ability to put off short term satisfaction to obtain a long-term goal. While enslaved, the would-be Maroons had to control their emotions and behavior in order to accomplish the goal of escape from enslavement; then they had to make sacrifices to remain free;
6. Self-reliance: the ability to take care of one’s needs. The Maroons planted gardens, kept domestic animals, hunted, and traded to provide for their communities;
7. Self-development
: openness and willingness to learn new things to succeed. The Maroons exchanged ideas and learned how to live in a new environment from the indigenous peoples. They formed alliances with individuals and groups who had mutual needs and interests.