Black Women During The Plantation South Essay

Black Women During The Plantation South Essay

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Deborah Gray White in Aren’t I a Woman: Female Slaves in the Plantation South theorizes that black women in the plantation south were the most vulnerable group in early America. These were black women in a white Southern society, slaves in a free American society, and women in a society ruled by men which gave them the least power and the most vulnerability in the plantation south. Their degradation was the result of American stigmas that understood black women as being promiscuous, licentious females who had high birth rates as well as a high pain tolerance. Although black women were seen as a part of the weaker sex, they were not seen as being as not seen as ineffectual. These women were sold for their abilities that include, but are not limited to being cooks, midwives, caretakers, sewers, fieldworkers, and breeders. Deborah Gray white makes the argument that black women may have been vulnerable, but as a female community, they steadfast in their beliefs and their families above all else. Their resistance may not have been as effective as male resistance, but variances among the communities were strong women that had the ability to overpower their masters through verbal and physical confrontations.
In the first chapter titled “Jezebel and Mammy: The Mythology of Female Slavery”, Deborah White extensively describes the multifaceted identity of the black female slave that includes the ideologies of both women and “the Negro”; this ideology portrays them as being licentious, irresponsible, dependent and submissive to white men. However, as a black women, she “gains none of the deference and approbation that accrue from being perceived as weak and submissive, and she gains none of the advantages that come with being a white male” ...

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...hapter, however, White does not write about the potential hardships that came with being free; she simply uses this chapter as a narrative piece to describe the events of becoming free. Any student who reads this book will have a plethora of information from diverse sources that construct Deborah Gray White’s Aren’t I a Woman: Female Slaves in the Plantation South.
While the research for this book is very informative, Deborah White could have shortened the book by excluding chapters three and four without losing the historical context of her work. Even with the repetitive form of this novel, White effectively conveys her argument that black slave women were the most vulnerable group of people in America; however, even through their hardships, they were dedicated to families, collaborated in the area of resistance, and worked hard for the rights they had as women

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