I chose to deal with the relationships between the white masters and the black slave women during the slavery era in the United States first because it interests me a lot. Talking about it in class made me eager to dig deep into it and learn more. The slavery period is for me a moving topic. When we think about it, we often picture a black skinny and shackled man in our mind. And it is true that men were assigned to very hard labour in the fields and were often very badly treated. Black women were often doing housework, but it was as hard for them as it was for men outside, and maybe even worse. Indeed, I already know that women were submitted to a pain that was beyond the unbearable physical pain, they were submitted to psychological pain. During slavery, black slave women were separated from their children and husbands, were doomed by the law to spread an enslaved race, and were frequently sexually abused by the master and gave birth to his children.
[...] The article mentions the extreme acts of abortions and infanticides, probably to emphasize the distress and refusal of women to give birth to a child that will live “forever” (hopes for an emancipation were frugally fed because of the pression of the masters and the laws) under the yoke of slavery. And I disagree with Hilary Beckles who says that is almost impossible to determine whether slave women practised birth control and abortion”, implying that it was not a frequently used method. [...]
[...] I wanted to focus on the relationships between masters and slave women, but it is difficult to talk about that without also dealing with the hardships that they were faced to in everyday life, because all in all, these difficulties come from their status, a status that is validated and supported by the master. Everything is then related. Through my researches, I figured out that not many articles were written about this relationship, and most of the information that we can find on the internet is far from being complete or even accurate. [...]
[...] Therefore, the fact that sexual intercourse between male masters and slave women was already recognized in the law. But the second law on which the website puts the emphasize will indeed, have a “profound effect on the continuance of slavery”, since it is the Act XII which states that “Negro women's children to serve according to the condition of the mother”. That is through this odious practice that white masters could expand the number of their slaves: by simply getting their female slaves pregnant. [...]
[...] Thus, slave women were caught in the crossfire: between serving a master who was returning support and being assailed by the mistress, or remaining retiring (in the background) and take the risk of being disliked by the master one who owns the whip. Sojourner was encouraged by her master about her good work. This can seem normal, but a slave was considered a property and so, as people do not compliment their cattle for their good ploughing, masters were rarely paying compliments to their slaves about that either. [...]
[...] The relationship of Harriet Jacobs and her masters was definitely different from Sojourner Truth's since she never knew she was a slave until the age of six. So she was not born with the idea in her head of being inferior to him because of her skin color. She was not submitted from the very beginning as Sojourner was (because she was caught in the system since her early years), and that might have given Harriet a feistier mind. Thus, at her mistress' death, when she is bequeathed to a five years old girl, she realizes immediately the burden and injustice of the Peculiar Institution: “These God-breathing machines [slaves] are no more, in the sight of their masters, than the cotton they plant, or the horses they tend” (283). [...]
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