Critical Essay, Slave And Mistress : Ideologies Of Womanhood Under Slavery

1134 Words Sep 20th, 2016 5 Pages
In Hazel Carby’s critical essay, Slave and Mistress: Ideologies of Womanhood under Slavery, she begins by establishing her intent to specifically explore the antebellum period of the south, its effects on the public perception of the black woman in America, and especially public perception/ideologies of the black woman that stem from the mythical, the “cultural creation,” of the black woman, created by white population (Carby 20). She further establishes that this will involve investigating how “white Southern womanhood,” affected and influenced “black womanhood,” and essentially created two different spheres of sexuality and motherhood for white and black antebellum women (Carby 20). In the manner in which slave narratives work to subvert the practices and stereotypes of slavery, this essay will integrate black female narratives to show how “black women, as writers, addressed, used, transformed, and on occasion, subverted the dominant ideological codes,” especially the cult of true womanhood (Carby 20-21). Subsequently come the basics of historiography: to understand the past of the American black woman, one must examine all of the stereotypes that were created about black slaves, including differences/relationships between black men and women. Dissecting all stereotypes and their origins is essential. With quotations from historian John Blassingame, Carby establishes that the Antebellum South’s view of the slave is “complex and contradictory” (Carby 21). She also…

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