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Look Inside The African-American Family in Slavery and Emancipation

The African-American Family in Slavery and Emancipation


Part of Studies in Modern Capitalism

  • Date Published: June 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521812764

£ 68.00

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About the Authors
  • In The African-American Family in Slavery and Emancipation, Wilma Dunaway calls into question the dominant paradigm of the US slave family. She contends that US slavery studies have been flawed by neglect of small plantations and export zones and exaggeration of slave agency. Using data on population trends and Slave narratives, she identifies several profit-maximizing strategies that owners implemented to disrupt and endanger African-American families, including forced labor migrations, structural interference in marriages and childcare, sexual exploitation of women, shortfalls in provision of basic survival needs, and ecological risks. This book is unique in its examination of new threats to family persistence that emerged during the Civil War and Reconstruction.

    • Draws on a massive statistical data base derived from antebellum census manuscripts and county tax records through to slaveholder manuscripts and slave narratives
    • Features companion website of supporting materials:
    • Challenges the dominant scholarship on the American Slave family
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'If one is interested in the history of the American south then this book is as essential as Fogel's many works on this subject. It gives a completely new dimension to the darker side of slavery. Much of the published work of recent years mitigates some of the hardships of a slave's existence. As one might expect from a professor of sociology there is a great emphasis on the emotional and tragic disintegration of slave family life due to economic circumstances beyond the control of the slave. It is almost a euphemism to say this book is essential reading on the subject of slavery, nevertheless on this occasion it is a fact.' Open History

    'This fascinating work offers many new insights into the nature of slavery in the Appalachian area of the United States … Dunaway's book is worthy reading for anyone interested in the history of the slavery … extensive and highly sophisticated … this book goes some way towards providing a more balanced appraisal of the slave South and all its complexities.' The Economic History Review

    '… a hugely impressive achievement … go[es] a long way towards redressing the balance between 'agency' and 'coerciveness' in American slave studies.' History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2003
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521812764
    • length: 382 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 25 x 152 mm
    • weight: 0.73kg
    • contains: 32 b/w illus. 7 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Slave trading and forced labor migrations
    2. Family diasporas and parenthood lost
    3. Malnutrition, ecological risks, and slave mortality
    4. Reproductive exploitation and child mortality
    5. Slave household subsistence and women's work
    6. The impacts of Civil War on slave families
    7. The risks of emancipation for black families
    8. Reconstruction threats to black family survival
    Theoretical reprise.

  • Author

    Wilma A. Dunaway, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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