History 72A Paper 1

History 72A Paper 1 - Elizabeth Ritacca History 72A October...

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Elizabeth Ritacca History 72A October 19 2009 It’s A Hard Knock Life for Female Slaves in North America Throughout the colonial time period, many colonists relied on slaves to do their harvesting and domestic housework. Slaves were brought over to North America from several different places all for a common goal – to expand production of the colonies and to provide extra bodies that could withstand contributing to brutal everyday labor tasks. Gender was often not an issue when there was work that needed to be done. Female slaves in North America were often used and treated as men and would perform tasks that normal white women would never consider doing. As a result, the female slaves were treated unjustly; they were forced to perform rigorous tasks and were often subjected to harsh punishments. Female slaves in North America were treated not as human beings, but as though they were emotionless machines. “White women could claim their children Black. women like Angelique had no such luxury. White women had legal and patriarchal protection. Black women were vulnerable to and experienced all kinds of brutality.” 1 Black women were seen simply as being somebody’s property. They had absolutely no rights, even when it came to deciding what to do with the child they nurtured and carried for nine consecutive months. Black women were also subjected to violent treatment simply because they were black women. White men often looked at them as though they were put on the earth to do whatever their master asked of them for little or no reward. 1 Alfua Cooper, The Hanging off Angelique: The Untold story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montreal (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2006), 168.
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Being a pregnant slave was also very difficult for black women in this time period. “Enslaved pregnant women and nursing mothers had to attend to their regular duties in spite of
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History 72A Paper 1 - Elizabeth Ritacca History 72A October...

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