African Male And Female Slave Essays

African Male And Female Slave Essays

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The slave trade was a cruel event that effected African people in terrible ways. However, the degree of cruelty was, at times, solely based on gender. Many articles illustrated the African slave struggle. These articles showed proof that the African slave experience was gendered. African male and female slaves both suffered extreme physical, mental, and emotional trauma. Sometimes, those traumas overlapped. In fact, some similarities between the different traumas can be drawn. However, the African male and female slave experience was not strictly the same. There are many argument as to what contributes to these differences, but the main reason is gender.
African male slaves arguably dealt with more physical trauma than female slaves. This is not saying that African male slaves didn’t face emotional and mental trauma as well, but they did experience more physical trauma because of the fact that they were deemed more physically able than women. According to Jennifer Hallam, African male slaves were, “Considered more valuable workers because of their strength, enslaved men performed labors that ranged from building houses to plowing fields.” Hallam speaks of African male slaves’ troubles once they became enslaved but technically, their significant physical suffering began from the moment they were captured. Randy J. Sparks sheds some light on the African male slave conditions on the boats during the middle passage in the Two Princes of Calabar: An Atlantic Odyssey from Slavery to Freedom when he said that, “some of the slaves, the men in particular, were put into irons for the duration of the middle passage.” This statement proves that African men were treated differently on the boat because of their gender. Unlike the woman, the...


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...dom, and that when they realized they had been deceived they committed suicide rather than face the disgrace.” Women also tended to be prone to sea sickness more than men. In fact, many more women died of seasickness than men, “It frequently terminates in death, especially among the women.”
Based off of the evidence provided by the various articles, it impossible to say that the slave experience wasn’t gendered and that female and male slave experiences were the same. Women had favorable conditions on the slave ships in terms of the iron shackles, and they didn’t have their role in society taken from them. However, in a way, they did lose their respectful reputation as pure women by sleeping with the sailors, willingly or unwillingly. These women also faced a trauma that no man could ever understand, caring for a baby for months only for it to die in the womb.

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