Navigating the sad epoch: sexual exploitation within enslaved communities in the antebellum South Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Eaves, Shannon Camille
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • I formulated this project to explore the impact of sexual exploitation on enslaved women. By closely examining the choices that enslaved women made concerning romantic and sexual relationships, I hoped to understand how sexual exploitation affected the enslaved women who experienced or feared it and the enslaved community that witnessed it. To what extent was the existence of sexual exploitation embedded in the consciousness of men and women within enslaved communities? Did this exploitation consciousness influence the choices that enslaved women made about their lives? I argue that enslaved women found various means of coping with the damage of sexual exploitation. Their victimization bred feelings of fear and distrust for some, and resentment and the courage to fight back for others. It led to the development of an exploitation consciousness among enslaved people. The choices that enslaved women made regarding sex and relationships were informed by this consciousness of sexual exploitation.
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  • In Copyright
  • Williams, Heather Andrea
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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