African-American Family in Slavery and Emancipation

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  • ISBN 9780521012164 


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.

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