Blacks During the Time of Slavery

            A former slave during the antebellum era, Lewis Clarke, said, "How would you like to see your sisters, and your wives, and your daughter, completely, teetotally, and altogether, in the power of the master. - You can picture to yourselves a little, how you would feel; but oh, if I could tell you!” Blacks during the time of slavery saw the many different experiences women had to go through, from "breeding” slaves to working in the fields (Woman and the Family in a slave society, Catherine Clinton, pg.13). Many of times, masters would send for the younger female slaves around the ages of 13 and older. At this time he would then rape her. This was not uncommon to happen. Madison Jefferson, another emancipated slave, said, ”Women who refused to submit to the brutal desires of their owners, are repeatedly whipt to subdue their virtuous repugnance, and in most instances this hellish practice is but too successful - when it fails, the women are frequently sold off to the south. Living under a social order which deprived them of virtually all means of gaining personal preferment except the granting of sexual favors, there is little doubt that many slave women submitted willingly to the advances of their masters, some of the family, or, overseers, hoping to receive favors in return. Legally there was no such thing as the rape of a slave woman by a white man (Clinton, pg.13). Sexual abuse among young slave girls, especially those, who had worked within the big house, was a crime of which many slaves complained. Records of the Freedman's Bureau indicate that white men were slow to break the habit if abusing black women. "Slave breeding was not uncommon on the plantation. Slaves hated when masters' attempt to control mating by matching up couples. Some masters rented or borrowed men for stud service, subjecting their female slaves to forced breeding or rape. The male slaves that were used were sometimes referred to as "travelin' niggers,” "stockmen,” or "breedin' niggers.

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