Study Guide 6 | Lehman College
Slavery and Sex, Slave Relationships, Sexual Violence, and Personhood.
● Lewis Clarke, “Why can’t a slave be a man?”
● J.W. Lindsay Describes Sexuality and Family Relations Under Slavery, 1863.”
● “Dr. Esther Hill Hawks Recounts the Rape(s) of “Susan Black, 1865”
● Thelma Jennings “The Sexual Exploitation of African-American Slave Women”
● Hodes “Illicit Sex Between White Women and Black Men”
1. As seen in the readings and PowerPoint, what type of labor did enslaved people do?
Slaves were treated as domesticated field workers. Working the land. They enriched their owners working as slaves picking cotton, construction, house servants, among other areas. Slaves worked the lands differently depending on gender, the men often worked the fields in extreme circumstances, under the weep. The labor was intensive, and frequently led to death. Women worked the fields, but also served as house servants, and other domestic labor.
2. What are some ways that enslaved people had a social life?
slave quarters served as the center for socialization, and interaction between salves. Slaves sang, danced, and shared stories, and information. Their songs, and culture continued from African traditions and culture. However, this was not a place for celebration, with protest songs for example.
3. Describe the sexual violence encountered by Susan.
According to Susan, she experience sexual violence in college. On campus many women feel unsafe, and struggle with sexual safety. When women are drinking, or not themselves in other ways, men may take advantage, and even when women say “no”, the culprit will continue with the rapist behavior.
4. According to Lewis Clarke, why can’t a slave be a man?
I slave can not be a man because slaves are conditioned, and managed as “work horses” that if shown discontent, its master may punish it, or even kill “it”. This is a case that slaves think, and behave as working animals, sadly,
5. What are some things recounted by J.W Lindsay?
“If a man says slavery is a good institution, he might as well say there is no God—only a devil. Slavery is like the bottomless pit.” For J.W Lindsay, slavery was living in hell. He was born free, and abducted, and taken into bondage, something not rare in early America. Many black people were put to bondage solely by their skin color, many pretexts, and excuses were created to take many black people into slavery. Therefore, even free black people faced the constant risk or bondage, pushing a large population to British Canada, according to J.W Lindsay.
Thelma Jennings, “The Sexual Exploitation of African-American Slave Women”
1. What are some of the tragedies that occur in regard to sexuality under slavery?
Slaves were property, and as such were brutally treated, and sexually abused by Slave owners. Female slaves were often abused by their owners, and even prostitute for profit to exhaustion, and often death. Used as objects, and later disposed and drained of anything of worth, a truly brutal time in history.
2. Describe slave marriage as seen in this article.
Slaves married regularly, and created families. Yet, with the constant fear of separation, and abuse it was not an easy feat. Husband and wives were sold, and broken up, but encouraged to procreate, and grow the quantity of slaves. Brutally separating families, things that are unfathomable in modern times.
Hodes “Illicit Sex Between White Women and Black Men”
8. What are the power relations within the sexual encounters that are reviewed?
A power relations developed between white women, and slave men. Many relationships resulted in children born to very brutal circumstances. White women held power over these relations, they faced a slap on the wrist, and the slave torture and death.
9. How does this article relate to ideas of white female virtue in the 19th century that we previously read about?
White female virtue the early 20th century was very clear on relations between white women and slave men. Women that had relations, or other relations with slave men, or black men in general were not virtues, but shamed, and punish by society.
10.How does his work relate to these other readings in class? What readings are referenced?
Lewis Clarke correlates with this work by illustrating how slaves could not be men, or women, but rather condition field, and house tools.
11 Why is male rape not often discussed?
Because male rape was typically ridiculed in society. Males were assumed to always be willing to engage in sexual relations with any women I believe.
12. In what ways were enslaved men physically and psychologically abused? –
White women would oblige slaves into sexual relations on the threat of lies that resulted in death. Slave males would then be sexually abused on the threat of death. White women had control of these situations.