Egalitarian Slave Families Analysis

1211 Words5 Pages
Mariela Velasco
Jill Fields
History 101
05 October 2017
“Egalitarian Slave Families”
Neither patriarchal nor matriarchal marriages existed in slave families since all slaves, male and female, held almost no power over themselves let alone the other gender. It was the plantation owner who virtually had all the power to control every aspect of his or her slave, regardless of gender. Since childhood, both female and male, slaves encountered injustices and misfortunes that showed no favoritism for one particular gender over the other- both males and females were brought up together essentially the same way; preparing and waiting for the life of hardship and strenuous work that awaited for them (White 91- 118). In her book Ar’n’t I a Women Deborah Gray White illustrates extensive amount of slave narratives demonstrating the huge amount of control white owners had over their slaves as well as the slave norms by which slaves were brought up and married; and therefore proving that she is indeed right when she states that “slave families were unusually egalitarian.” Slave families can be considered egalitarian because one partner virtually had no “dominance” over the other one as it was the white owner who “controlled” and “dominated” almost every aspect of the slave’s lives. For example, slave marriages were not like the “traditional” white marriages since these did not offer the benefits traditional white marriages brought such as economic assistance and male protection

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