Taking Liberties: Enslaved Women and Anti-Slavery in the Caribbean

TitleTaking Liberties: Enslaved Women and Anti-Slavery in the Caribbean
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsBeckles, Hilary McD.
EditorMidgley, Clare
Book TitleGender and Imperialism
PublisherManchester University Press

This chapter seeks to determine the influence of gender representation on anti-slavery historiography. During slavery, the right to life and social liberty was denied blacks, not on the basis of gender, but by the race inequities of colonial culture. Differences in life experiences among males and females, however, served to demonstrate how gender constructions assisted in the promotion and maintenance of social and material inequalities. Black women were targeted by the socio-economic logic of the plantation enterprise at two levels, yet the survival of the slave system depended on the black women's enslavement. As a result, her survival struggle assumed more complex dimensions than that of her male counterpart, whose gender ideologies she also contested.

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