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Each time a child was born in bondage, the system of slavery began anew. Although raised by their parents or by surrogates in the slave community, children were ultimately subject to the rule of their owners. Following the life cycle of a child from birth through youth to young adulthood, Marie Jenkins Schwartz explores the daunting world of slave children, a world governed by the dual authority of parent and owner, each with conflicting agendas. Despite the constant threats and the necessity of submission to the slave owner, slave families managed to pass on essential lessons about enduring bondage with human dignity. The author counters the commonly held vision of paternalistic slave-holder who determines the life and welfare of his passive chattel, showing instead how slaves struggled to give their children a sense of self and belonging that denied the owner complete control. This book gives us an unsurpassed look at what it meant to grow up as a slave in the antebellum South. Schwartz recreates the experiences of these bound but resilient young people as they learned to negotiate between acts of submission and selfhood, between the worlds of commodity and community.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674007208
ISBN-10: 0674007204
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 155mm x 16mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 2-Oct-2001
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Marie Jenkins Schwartz

Marie Jenkins Schwartz is Associate Professor of History at the University of Rhode Island.

Books By Author Marie Jenkins Schwartz

Ties That Bound by Marie Jenkins Schwartz

Ties That Bound

Hardback, June 2017
Birthing a Slave by Marie Jenkins Schwartz

Birthing a Slave

Paperback, November 2009