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Anything that occurred in North American until 1865 - Slavery

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Reproduction was an important part of life for an African slave female, which determined her specific position in the slave system. While motherhood for white women was considered as the moral duty, ensuring the continuation of an ancestry, and corresponded to her rightful place in the society, the childbirth among black women was meant to supply free work force. In other words, while “black women gave birth to property, white women produced heirs and leaders”5. Consequently, “the idea that black women were not “true” women further established the societal inferiority of black women, placing them in a unique relationship with the slave economy”5.As for the personal relations between black mother and her children, it is said that as any other mother, those women were caring and loving. Yet, as well as female herself, children also were the property of a master. Therefore, they could be sold or abused and mother was not able to protect them. Angela Davis, the author of the article on African American slavery, pointed out that “children, when they became of age, were branded and frequently severed from their mothers. That the mother was the only legitimate parent of a child did not therefore mean that she was even permitted to guide it to maturity”6.Motherhood was a significant aspect of the enlargement of the number of slaves for the master. Slaveholders were mainly interested in gaining additional labor force and not the creation of family between slaves. One time they could encourage marriage between black man and woman, while the other moment the family could be destructed by, for example, selling husband to another slaveholder. Thus, the families were necessary mainly until the child was born: “When a girl became a woman, she was required to go to a man and become a mother. There was generally a form of marriage. The master read a paper to them telling them they were man and wife.Master would sometimes go and get a large, hale, hearty Negro man from some other plantation to go to his Negro woman. A slave girl was expected to have children as soon as she became a woman. Some of them had children at the age of twelve and thirteen-years-old. Negro men six feet tall went to some of these children.Thus, the only goal pursued by the master, when he stimulated marriage between slaves, was to increase the amount of productive “instruments”. As a result
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preview essay on Anything that occurred in North American until 1865 - Slavery
  • Pages: 4 (1000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: History
  • Level: Masters
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