The Period Of The Antebellum South

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The period of the antebellum south was among the most burdensome times for African American slaves, especially females. During the early 1800s the lives of enslaved women were extremely demanding. The female slaves were expected to bear children, as well as were required to work just as hard as the male slaves on the plantation. Days were long and laborious for slave mothers, they had to make sure that all the work that needed to be done was completed, and also care for their children. Female slaves’ jobs varied from housework, to field work. Slave mothers knew that giving up on their work was not an option, they had to persevere for their families. Motherhood and work went hand in hand for female slaves, one was not able to do one and not the other. Field labor was an unavoidable task that was fulfilled by nearly all slaves in the antebellum south. There was no gender discrimination in the fields, female slaves had to perform almost all of the plantation chores. Some of the chores female slaves were obligated to complete were picking, hoeing, plowing, mending fences, burning fields, weeding, planting, and harvesting. The work day was long and grueling, slaves worked from sunrise to the sunset. Working the fields was a strenuous job, however it was not done alone. They acquired the opportunity to work beside other female slaves. The groups of female slaves in the fields were called gangs. The gangs often sang, talked quietly, and passed along confidential information.
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