Sexuality and Slavery: Reclaiming Intimate Histories in the Americas

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States, Women on 2021-09-20 13:57Z by Steven

Sexuality and Slavery: Reclaiming Intimate Histories in the Americas

University of Georgia Press
240 pages
5 b&w images
6.000in x 9.000in
Hardcover ISBN: 9-780-8203-5403-3
Paperback ISBN: 9-780-8203-5404-0

Edited by:

Daina Ramey Berry, Oliver H. Radkey Regents Professor of History
University of Texas, Austin

Leslie M. Harris, Professor of History
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

Foreword by:

Catherine Clinton, Denman Endowed Professor in American History
University of Texas, San Antonio

An examination of the many facets of sexuality within slave communities

In this groundbreaking collection, editors Daina Ramey Berry and Leslie M. Harris place sexuality at the center of slavery studies in the Americas (the United States, the Caribbean, and South America). While scholars have marginalized or simply overlooked the importance of sexual practices in most mainstream studies of slavery, Berry and Harris argue here that sexual intimacy constituted a core terrain of struggle between slaveholders and the enslaved. These essays explore consensual sexual intimacy and expression within slave communities, as well as sexual relationships across lines of race, status, and power. Contributors explore sexuality as a tool of control, exploitation, and repression and as an expression of autonomy, resistance, and defiance.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword / Catherine Clinton
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction / Daina Ramey Berry and Leslie M. Harris
  • Chapter 1 : Early European Views of African Bodies: Beauty / Stephanie M. H. Camp
  • Chapter 2: Toiling in the Fields: Valuing Female Slaves in Jamaica, 1674-1788 / Trevor Barnard
  • Chapter 3: Reading the Specter of Racialized Gender in Eighteenth-Century Bridgetown, Barbados / Marisa J. Fuentes
  • Chapter 4: As if She Were My Own: Love and Law in the Slave Society of Eighteenth-Century Peru /Bianca Premo
  • Chapter 5: Wombs of Liberation: Petitions, Law, and the Black Woman’s Body in Maryland, 1780-1858 / Jessica Millward
  • Chapter 6: Rethinking Sexual Violence and the Marketplace of Slavery: White Women, the Slave Market, and Enslaved Peoples Sexualized Bodies in the Nineteenth-Century South / Stephanie Jones-Rogers
  • Chapter 7: The Sexual Abuse of Black Men under American Slavery Thomas A. Foster
  • Chapter 8: Manhood, Sex, and Power in Antebellum Slave Communities / David Doddington
  • Chapter 9: What’s Love Got to Do with It? Concubinage and Enslaved Women and Girls in the Antebellum South / Brenda E. Stevenson
  • Chapter 10: When the Present Is Past: Writing the History of Sexuality and Slavery / Jim Downs
  • Contributors
  • Index
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Life Stories, Local Places, and the Networks of Free Women of Color in Early North America

Posted in History, Live Events, Louisiana, Papers/Presentations, Slavery, United States, Virginia, Women on 2012-11-24 01:01Z by Steven

Life Stories, Local Places, and the Networks of Free Women of Color in Early North America

127th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association
New Orleans, Louisiana
2013-01-03 through 2013-01-06

AHA Session 72
Friday, 2013-01-04: 08:30-10:00 CST (Local Time)
Preservation Hall, Studio 7 (New Orleans Marriott)

Chair: Daina Ramey Berry, University of Texas, Austin


Comment: Anthony S. Parent, Wake Forest University

The three papers included in this panel share several themes significant to new directions in the history of women of color in North America and the Caribbean.

First, all three papers are concerned with the importance of networks, and the relationship between networks and localities.  In these papers, networks sustain women’s claims to freedom, and networks are closely associated with places.  Terri Snyder finds, for example, that Jane Webb and her daughter Elisha strengthened their positions in 18th century courtrooms–rarely hospitable to women of color–by drawing on local knowledge to support their claims to justice.  For Elisha, her mother’s networks in Virginia eventually intervened to secure her freedom in New Hampshire.  Elizabeth Neidenbach’s research in the wills of refugees from St. Domingue uncovers women’s networks expressed in the streets and neighborhoods of New Orleans–networks that reach back to the island home left behind.  Not only did these networks help refugee women survive, they played a significant role in shaping the culture of the city.  Finally, Sharon Wood’s research underscores the importance of African American-controlled space to the emergence of a black public sphere.  Property in Illinois owned by Priscilla, a former slave, became the meeting place when leading white men of St. Louis sought to suppress African American organizing by shutting off their access to space.  

Finally, all three papers are concerned with methodologies of doing history and biography at the intersections of race and gender in early North America. Focusing on relatively ordinary women of color, each paper aims to recover the lives of particular women and integrate them into history. Until very recently, it has been a truism that the life stories of unlettered, enslaved, and free women of color of the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries must remain unwritten because the sources to uncover their lives did not exist. Yet each of these papers, by imaginative use of primary sources and diligent linking of records across national, colonial, and state borders, challenges that claim, giving voice and flesh to women whose lives would otherwise remain fragmented among scattered documents.

This session addresses audiences interested in the histories of women, slavery and freedom, and geographical and biographical approaches to history.

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