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Slavery and Mothering

  • By: Indera Grewal
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Although the Portuguese generally controlled the African slave trade in the 15th century, slavery upon American soil began in the 1600s and officially ended in 1863, following the Civil War and the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation. African rulers, forging relationships with European traders in exchange for weaponry to expand their territories, used middlemen to navigate the African interior for human capital (often prisoners of war). European slaving ships, docked at coastal ports, purchased their cargoes of slaves and distributed them to European, West Indies, and American markets in the South to work and maintain agricultural systems; it is the account of slavery in the American South that is discussed here.

What started out as a system of enforced labor soon developed a racist tone that ...

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