Ar 'N' T I A Woman Summary

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Ar’n’t I a Woman was written in 1985 by Deborah Gray White, the Board of Governors Professor of History and Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University. This book is a very thought provoking read, one that opens a window into an America so drastically different than today, it almost seems a foreign land. White describes with great emotional fervency the strife endured by both Caucasian and African-American women, with specific consideration given to the plight of the enslaved black woman. Regardless of how mentally stimulating the book is, it fails to fully portray the complexities of both the 19th Century slave economy, as well as the system of oppression that transcended identifiers of both race and gender within that …show more content…
Slavery is by no means an invention of the Anglo-Saxon people. One of the earliest civilizations to practice slavery would be the Babylonian Empire. “The Code of Hammurabi”, which dates to the eighteenth-century BC, addresses the legal status of slavery. Slavery was also quite commonplace in Africa, even before slavery arrived in the Americas. In historical Africa, slavery was practiced in many different forms and some of these do not clearly fit the definitions of slavery elsewhere in the world. Debt Slavery, enslavement of war captives, military slavery, and criminal slavery were all practiced in various parts of Africa. Prior to European contact, the Ghana, Mali, and Songhai Empires all condoned the slave trade. The first European to purchase African slaves was the Portuguese explorer Antao Goncalves in 1411, who used slaves to cultivate sugar fields on the volcanic island of Sao Tome. African slaves did not arrive in the “New World” until 1501, when the Spanish transported them to Hispaniola. The slave trade would not have been as popular had it not been for African slave traders who willingly sold fellow Africans to …show more content…
It is indisputable that such instances did occur, and that is shameful. Nonetheless, it was not as commonplace as the author states. While it is reprehensible to assign humans worth, this was the logic of the time, and in that lies my evidence. According to the 1860 Census, only 4.8% of Southerners owned slaves. Why in, a region where slave-driven agriculture composed the majority of the economy, did so l , did so few people own slaves? The answer lies in the cost of acquiring said slaves. In a 1997 article written by Jim Jones, titled “Plantation Agriculture in Southeast USA”, Jones states the cost of a slave in 1860 was $1,658 dollars. Using the 2006 Consumer Price Index, that equates to roughly $41,470.57, quite a large sum of money. Simply put, it would be beyond foolish to abuse such a large investment. To further illustrate my point, let us examine this analogy: a 2016 3-Series BMW, can be purchased for $33,150 (MSRP). If the car did not perform to my expectation, it would be foolish for me to assault it with a baseball bat in order to achieve greater performance. It would be more efficient to treat it well, such as by a tune-up, or perhaps an oil change. If a plantation owner desired to abuse a slave with much less financial harm, he would buy an Irish slave, which could have been purchased at a third of a cost. The popular misconception concerning the widespread abuse

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