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By Gregory D. Smithers

“A thought-provoking piece of scholarship that sheds gentle at the complicated historical past of slave breeding in the United States. Smithers’s publication can be hotly debated within the profession.”—Michael L. Ondaatje, collage 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 country University

For over centuries, the subject of slave breeding has occupied a arguable position within the grasp narrative of yank historical past. From nineteenth-century abolitionists to twentieth-century filmmakers and artists, americans have debated even if slave vendors intentionally and coercively manipulated the sexual practices and marital prestige of enslaved African americans to breed new generations of slaves for profit. 

In this daring and provocative booklet, 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 americans have refused to disregard the violence and sexual coercion linked to the plantation South. through putting African American histories and thoughts of slave breeding in the higher context of America’s background of racial and gender discrimination, Smithers sheds much-needed mild on African American collective reminiscence, racialized perceptions of fragile black households, and the lengthy background of racially prompted violence opposed to males, girls, and youngsters of color.


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Slave Breeding: Sex, Violence, and Memory in African American History

“A thought-provoking piece of scholarship that sheds mild at the advanced background of slave breeding in the USA. Smithers’s e-book may be hotly debated within the occupation. ”—Michael L. Ondaatje, college of Newcastle, Australia“As attractive because it is compelling, daring, and eye-catching, Smithers’s Slave Breeding pulls the reader via its pages with heart-wrenching exposition of the darkish and unpleasant bankruptcy of what may possibly rightly be characterised because the sexual zeitgeist of yankee nationwide background.

Additional resources for Slave Breeding: Sex, Violence, and Memory in African American History

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When, Death! Thy messenger dispatch’d his dart! 24 Death provided finality to the separation of mother from child. 26 The testimony of former slaves played an instrumental role in the emergence of a powerful slave-breeding discourse. In the early republic, “eyewitness” accounts and participant testimonies emphasized sexual abuse, violence, and family separation through sale. Prior to the 1830s, however, black and white abolitionists had not yet found the language necessary to wed these disparate violations into a coherent slave-breeding narrative that challenged the proslavery lobby and the rhetoric of “compromise politics” over slavery’s extension.

In 1773 the former New England slave and poet Phillis Wheatley spoke for other enslaved mothers when she wrote about the anguish caused by the death of a child: No more the flow’ry scenes of pleasure rise, Nor charming prospects greet the mental eyes; No more with joy we view that lovely face, Smiling, disportive, flush’d with ev’ry grace. The tear of sorrow flows from ev’ry eye; Groans answer groans, and sighs to sighs reply! What sudden pangs shot thro’ each aching heart! When, Death! Thy messenger dispatch’d his dart!

1863. Both black and white abolitionists argued that evidence that white men took an active role in slave breeding could be seen in the skin tones of southern slaves. 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.

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