Female Slaves In The Plantation South Chapter Analysis

Superior Essays
In “Ar’n’t I a Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South” by Deborah Gray White goes into detail about the lives of black women in slavery. In the last four chapters of “Ar’n’t I a Woman? Female Slavery in the Plantation South” White informs the audience about the hardship black enslaved woman had to face during this time such as, the difficulties that came with pregnancies, child care, husbands and separation. The last four chapters shared a common theme of black enslaved females and their unfair treatment, characterization and opportunities. Chapter three of “Ar’n’t I a Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South” is titled “The Life Cycle of the Female Slave” and explains how black enslaved woman had a lot to go through. …show more content…
Black women along with black men who tried to exercise their rights ended with them being ridiculed, murdered or terrorized. If a slave refused to do what their master wanted, it resulted in them being punished. For example, Hagard Barnwell threatened to leave the plantation because she did not want to work in the kitchen resulted in her former master taking “Hagard to a shed at pistol point and strung her up by her thumbs so that her feet barely touched the ground” (White 174). The example of Hagard Barnwell’s story clearly shows how a slave could not exercise their rights as a human being because they were owned by their master and forced to do what the master wanted them to do. As stated in the previous chapters, black women did not rely on black men, they relied on their survival instincts. Women had to “bargain for the best wages, aggressively resist white attempts to steal their children, and be strong-willed in negotiating the kind of house and field work they would or would not do” (White 176). Although white women had their own problems, black women were challenged much harder than white women. Black women had to be self-reliant and protect themselves from the troubles of slavery. At the end of this chapter, White emphasizes the question, Ar’n’t I a Woman? She explains that there is “no question that [black women] suffered tremendously from historic racism and sexism” and how they went through disease, mortality and depression (White 189). But black women experienced a different type of womanhood, one that challenge the black women but a womanhood that allowed black enslaved women to answer “yes “ to the question, “Ar’n’t I a

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