Ideally, George’s plotline should reveal the complex and unexpected reasons alliances were made by early black abolitionists, revolutionaries with colonial powers to sabotage the stable labor force of rival colonial operations. Instead, the game shrugs such nuances off. In hearing George criticize the hypocrisy of the Patriots who would uphold slavery, Aveline nonetheless sides with such a cause in decimating George and his regiment. In the aforementioned Black Jacobins, James argues that black revolutionaries were able to take destiny into their own hands, a claim echoed in George’s line, “I chose my destiny. That is real freedom,” a view that Aveline mocks. Her alignment with the Assassins, itself an often vague cause, motivates her derisive attitude and later killing of the Templar-leaning George and Baptiste. She worsens the welfare of runaway slaves by thinning the Maroon ranks and breaking down chances at solidarity against the white New Orleans elite. These actions partly stem from her social status as a free, moneyed mulatto woman, a demographic that historically lived among a white upper class rather than an overwhelming population of black slaves. C. L. R. James puts it bluntly: “Black slaves and Mulattoes hated each other.” Perhaps this underlying attitude informs Aveline’s behavior, as she seems to care more about her own upward mobility in a moneyed society and her position among the Assassins than helping individual slaves.
Read the full column at Haywire Magazine.