By Gregory D. Smithers
“A thought-provoking piece of scholarship that sheds mild at the complicated background of slave breeding in the United States. Smithers’s publication could be hotly debated within the profession.”—Michael L. Ondaatje, college of Newcastle, Australia
“As attractive because it is compelling, daring, and pleasing, Smithers’s Slave Breeding pulls the reader via its pages with heart-wrenching exposition of the darkish and unsightly bankruptcy of what may possibly rightly be characterised because the sexual zeitgeist of yankee nationwide history.”—Tunde Adeleke, Iowa kingdom University
For over centuries, the subject of slave breeding has occupied a arguable position within the grasp narrative of yankee heritage. From nineteenth-century abolitionists to twentieth-century filmmakers and artists, americans have debated no matter if slave proprietors intentionally and coercively manipulated the sexual practices and marital prestige of enslaved African american citizens to breed new generations of slaves for profit.
In this daring and provocative publication, historian Gregory Smithers investigates how African americans have narrated, remembered, and represented slave-breeding practices. He argues that whereas social and monetary historians have downplayed the importance of slave breeding, African american citizens have refused to omit the violence and sexual coercion linked to the plantation South. by way of putting African American histories and stories of slave breeding in the greater context of America’s background of racial and gender discrimination, Smithers sheds much-needed gentle on African American collective reminiscence, racialized perceptions of fragile black households, and the lengthy historical past of racially influenced violence opposed to males, girls, and kids of color.
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Additional resources for Slave Breeding: Sex, Violence, and Memory in African American History
15 Abolishing the international slave trade to the United States became simply a starting point for ending a critically important cog in the American and Atlantic world economies: slavery and the internal slave trade in the American republic. 16 Key figures in shaping abolitionist discourse during the antebellum era, such as Garrison and Susan B. Anthony, and African Americans like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs, gave abolitionist rhetoric a radical edge that drowned out those antebellum voices espousing a gradual end to slavery.
45 Sentiments of this nature made their way into the rough-and-tumble world of state and federal politics. Slave breeding became an important component of political debate in the battle to shape the discourse about American territorial expansion. The abolitionist Theodore Dwight Weld, like so many abolitionists, drew on Dew’s analysis of the Virginia legislature’s proceedings to both condemn Virginia lawmakers and oppose the extension of slavery into the West. Weld argued that Virginia’s effort to legally expel free blacks from the state was failing because of slave-breeding practices.
While slaves often resembled their master, Harriet Jacobs and other black abolitionists observed that few white men ever dared to openly acknowledge their paternity of such children. , LC-DIG-ppmsca-11244. American Abolitionism and Slave-Breeding Discourse · 41 enslavement. 93 Other black leaders, such as Robert Purvis, emphasized the significance of sexual practices to America’s past and future. ”94 Purvis’s reference to “white fellow citizens” being averse to the “intermixture of the races” was more than a parting shot at white Americans who wanted to remove free blacks from the American republic and colonize them in Africa.