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Unformatted text preview: The Enslaved The Labor Labor Plantation Labor Plantation Sugar Plantation Sugar Field Gangs Field First gang: dig cane First holes and cut cane.* holes Second gang less Second exacting Third gang – mainly Third children (age 5-12) and elderly slaves. Gender on the Plantation Gender Newton plantation in Barbados in 1740: 128 Newton females to 81 males. 15 women were in the first gang, 17 girls in second gang first Sewell plantation Barbados – 34 women, 20 Sewell men in first gang, Irwin plantation in Jamaica: women Irwin outnumbered men in first and second gang: 46 to 37 and 23 to 16 respectively. to Production Production Pregnancy seen as economic liability No special treatment for pregnancy Returned immediately after giving birth Myth: African women workhorses Reproduction Reproduction Reality Women on sugar plantations had fewer Women children, more numerous miscarriages, a higher sterility rate, greater birth space, and completed childbearing earlier. completed Domestic Slaves Domestic Artisan and skilled labor Domestics Domestics Dressed better, work less harsh More vulnerable from proximity Day laborers leased out by owners Leased out: prostitutes Leased African Time African Accused of being lazy Accused Not utilized, bought and sold, but created or Not produced produced No concept of wasting time Man makes as much time as he wants. Man Brutality Brutality Acceptance of extreme brutality. Acceptance In 1748 the Jamaican assembly rejected a In bill that would have prohibited the mutilation or dismembering of slaves by their owners without consent of magistrate. Antiguan Calculation Antiguan Option #2: “By rigorously straining their Option strength to the utmost, with little relaxation, hard fare, and hard usage, to wear them out before they became useless and unable to do service, and then to buy new ones, to fill up their places.” new Nineteenth Century Jamaican Pen Pens Pens Thistlewood Thistlewood Breeding of animals important to economy Breeding Pen-keeper class second to the estate owner in Pen-keeper prestige. Sugar estate produced for export, pens supplied Sugar demands of local market. demands African Agency African Provision Grounds: Polinks Polinks Slaves generally given a house plot and Slaves adjacent garden adjacent Where land was available (Jamaica but not Where Barbados) also given marginal land Barbados) Polinks Polinks Average one and one-third acres, two or Average three chickens, a hog , and a half or a third share in a goat or a cow. Amount limited only by slave’s ability to Amount manage manage Provision Ground Independence, autonomy and dignity Coincided with African relationship to the Coincided land. “Here are the graves of our fathers. Can we say to their bones, arise and go with us into a foreign land?” Market Women / Higgler Market English word: to English haggle. Produce from polinks Produce 1891 census in 1891 Mandeville: of 1,011 higglers only one was male. male. Higglers cont. Higglers Indispensable to economy Colorful, exciting, and attractive African expression - market women. Suppressed as “irregular” trade. Suppressed Frequently fined and arrested. Resistance Resistance Symbolized spirit of Symbolized independence independence Central to day-to-day Central non-violent resistance non-violent Afro-Creole Economy Afro-Creole Expression of “African imperative.” Undermined black/white polarity Undermined Rights through custom and usage.” Rights Development of intellectual capacities Development slave system was intended to destroy slave ...
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- Spring '10