Synopses & Reviews
Slavery in the United States continues to loom large in our national consciousness and is a major curricular focus in African American studies, during Black History Month, and for slavery units. This is the first encyclopedia to focus on the typical experiences and roles and material life of female slaves in the United States from Colonial times to Emancipation. More than 150 essay entries written by a host of experts offer a unique perspective on the material life, events, typical experiences, and roles of enslaved women and girls in both their interactions with their owners and the little private time they could manage. This groundbreaking volume is an exciting focus for research and general browsing and belongs in all American History, Women's Studies, and African American Studies collections.
The coverage includes entries illuminating women's work, on the plantation, from the big house to the field and slave cabin as well as individual entrepeneurialship. Aspects of daily life such as food procurement and meals, folk medicine and healing, and hygiene are revealed. Material life is uncovered through entries such as Auction Block, Clothing and Adornments, and Living Quarters. Life cycle events from pregnancy and birthing to childcare to holidays and death and funeral customs are discussed. The resistance to slavery and its horrors are enumerated in many entries such as Abolition, Sexual Violence, and the Underground Railroad. A wider understanding of the different ways that slavery played out for various enslaved women can be seen in entries regarding African origins and that depict regions in the North and South such as Low Country and groups such as Maroon Communities. Profiles of noted female slaves and their works are also included. Accompanying the entries are suggestions for further reading. Further scholarly value is added with a chronology and selected bibliography. Numerous photos and sidebars complement the essays, with quotations from oral history and literature plus document excerpts.
"Ranging in topic from branding to child care and from folk medicine to hiring out, these absorbing pieces are also well-written and approachable for a general adult audience and undergraduates through faculty. All public and academic libraries supporting American history, African American studies, or women's studies programs should purchase this work." -
"This encyclopedia provides valuable details about the often overlooked lives of enslaved black women before the American emancipation. Although other books cover this issue, the encyclopedia approach is unique." -
"As a compilation of essays and documents significant to the history of enslaved women in the US, this resource will be valuable to a wide range of readers. Summing Up: Highly recommended." -
This singular reference provides an authoritative account of the daily lives of enslaved women in the United States, from colonial times to emancipation following the Civil War. Through essays, photos, and primary source documents, the female experience is explored, and women are depicted as central, rather than marginal, figures in history.
• Provides a comprehensive examination of the role of enslaved women in United States history
• Includes contributions from some of the top scholars in the field
• Contains the most current and up-to-date research on enslaved women in the United States
• Addresses current historical debates on a variety of topics referencing slavery
• Dozens of photos of former enslaved women
• Detailed historical timeline
• Numerous rare primary documents, including runaway slave advertisements and even a plantation recipe for turtle soup
• Profiles of noted female slaves and their works
Slavery in the history of the United States continues to loom large in our national consciousness, and the role of women in this dark chapter of the American past is largely under-examined. This is the first encyclopedia to focus on the daily experiences and roles of female slaves in the United States, from colonial times to official abolition provided by the 13th amendment to the Constitution in 1865.
Enslaved Women in America: An Encyclopedia contains 100 entries written by a range of experts and covering all aspects of daily life. Topics include culture, family, health, labor, resistance, and violence. Arranged alphabetically by entry, this unique look at history features life histories of lesser-known African American women, including Harriet Robinson Scott, the wife of Dred Scott, as well as more notable figures.