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Word Count: 710
The portrayals of pirates in the modern entertainment world are comprised of images of greedy cutthroat high seas adventurers who live a life of lawlessness with a trusty parrot cutlass and an earring However these views clearly misrepresent the socioeconomic and political factors surrounding the men dubbed pirates Furthermore they ignore the revolutionary formula Kenneth Kinkor describes in his article from CR Pennells Bandits at Sea in which he mentions the characteristics of liberty equality and fraternity that existed among these vessels and throughout their crews It was these traits that led many Blacks both free and freed to join pirate fleets Perhaps the factors that drove most blacks to piracy were men seeking to protest a life that was largely that of oppression and poverty Kinkor states that multiculturalism existed amongst pirate ships from a pragmatic spirit of revolt against common oppressors These men were seeking democratic and egalitarian ideals which also ranked them in similar situations to that of their Caucasian brethren ultimately finding they were welcomed as equals in that they were protesting similar factors in a society were oppression based on economic class was equal to that of race relations Often times blacks that were free escaped or freed from slaver-merchants would find themselves with opportunity to live on a floating nation were the only national allegiance was that of the ship and its crew to itself The decks of a pirate vessel were a sharp contrast to the plantation system in that backs would receive a share of the booty the right to vote and incentives based on merit rather than that of race Additionally the depictions of many black pirates have been distorted to suit the views of these men to fit the expectations of a white middle-class audience Many of these characterizations view blacks or any other minority for that matter as either savage or simply performing acts of servitude This is entirely inaccurate when you
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