Synopses & Reviews
Marli Weiner challenges much of the received wisdom on the domestic realm
of the nineteenth-century southern plantation--a world in which white
mistresses and female slaves labored together to provide food, clothing,
and medicines to the larger plantation community. Although divided by
race, black and white women were joined by common female experiences and
expectations of behavior. Because work and gender affected them as much
as race, mistresses and female slaves interacted with one another very
differently from the ways they interacted with men.
Supported by the women's own words, Weiner offers fresh interpretations
of the ideology of domesticity that influenced women's race relations
before the Civil War, the gradual manner in which they changed during
the war, and the harsher behaviors that resulted during Reconstruction.
A volume in the series Women in American History, edited by Anne Firor
Scott, Nancy A. Hewitt, and Stephanie Shaw
Table of Contents
The work lives of plantation slave women -- The work lives of plantation mistresses -- Expectations of white womanhood -- Plantation mistresses' behavior towards slave women -- Plantation mistresses attitudes about slavery -- Slave women confront the ideology of domesticity -- Slave women and the meaning of womanhood -- The experience of war -- The transition to freedom -- Toward the future.