"Cuffy," "Fancy Maids," and "One-Eyed Men": Rape, Commodification, and the Domestic Slave Trade in the United States

Title"Cuffy," "Fancy Maids," and "One-Eyed Men": Rape, Commodification, and the Domestic Slave Trade in the United States
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsBaptist, Edward E.
JournalAmerican Historical Review
Volume106
Issue5
Pagination1619-1650
Abstract

Baptist's ensuing examination of the "commodification" of enslaved people-regarding the slave sale or auction, and the rape of enslaved women-demonstrates the instability of this rhetoric. In the first case, Baptist describes the "deanimation of enslaved people" as "virtually inanimate articles" and their subsequent "reanimation" as a "lifeless commodity" when they are made to pose, flex their muscles, dance, and play instruments or card games in slave pens where traders meticulously examined their bodies. Slaves were made "to demonstrate their salability by outwardly performing their supposed emotional insensibility and physical vitality," as Walter Johnson writes of Louisiana slave markets. [Nicholas Rinehart]

URLhttp://www.jstor.org/stable/2692741
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192685771

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