In the last three decades, gender has become an indispensable category of analysis in the study of slavery in the Americas, illuminating both the day-to-day lives of enslaved and enslaving peoples and ideas about race and slavery. While studying gender means much more than studying women, the literature on enslaved women is especially influential, in part because of gender analysis's origins in women's history and in part because of women's central importance in slavery: women and ideas about them shaped slavery from beginning to end. This article discusses the origins of slavery, the gendered division of slave labour, reproduction in slavery, sexuality, enslaved families, black femininity and masculinity, mastery and white gender identities, and politics. Keywords: slaves , enslaved women , gender analysis , slave labour , reproduction , sexuality , femininity , white gender identity , politics. Gender analysis has also reconfigured the study of politics, and, as is increasingly clear, studying gender means much more than studying women. Still, the literature on enslaved women is especially influential, in part because of gender analysis's origins in women's history and in part because of women's central importance in slavery: women and ideas about them shaped slavery from beginning to end. Barbara Bush and Jennifer Morgan have shown that references to African women's exposed breasts dominated European texts, denoting p. Easy parturition, meanwhile, suggested that African women did not share in Eve's curse, and thus that Europeans need not treat Africans as fellow children of Adam and Eve. Europeans also believed that polygamy and female agriculture proved African women's degradation and, correspondingly, the superiority of European culture.
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As the slaves stepped down to meet their new owner, Walsh gaveled the next lot onto the platform. Bidders carefully inspected the slaves, checking arm and leg muscles, ordering each to walk and squat, pulling open mouths to reveal teeth. A slave named Primus stepped onto the platform with his wife Daphney, their three-year old daughter, and a newborn. Daphney had wrapped a. Advertisement placed by slave dealer Joseph Bryan invites buyers to inspect the slaves offered for sale in the huge auction.
Kirsten E. Wood
Versions of the page can be found in the Internet Archive. At that site, select a blue circled calendar date. In late , Massachusetts native George Fuller —84 traveled throughout the Deep South in pursuit of portrait commissions. One of these rituals, a slave auction involving a beautiful quadroon, affected him profoundly. Fuller had witnessed slave auctions before, but the sight of men bidding over a nearly white slave like a farm animal caused him to write:. Who is this girl with eyes large and black? The blood of the white and dark races is at enmity in her veins—the former predominated. Three fourths blessed, a fraction accursed. She is under thy feet, white man.