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Slavery and the Making of AmericaPolitical caricature depicting black and white men and women interacting
Time and Place Slave Memories Resources The Slave Experience

The Slave Experience: Men, Women & Gender
Intro Historical Overview Character Spotlight Slave Clothing Personal Narratives Original Docs
Introduction Men, Women & Gender
The Clothes Make the Man, the Woman, and the Slave Get the Historical Overview
How was life different for male and female slaves? Who performed skilled labor? Men? Women? What about fieldwork? House chores? What did motherhood mean to enslaved women? How was it exploited by their masters? In a world where blacks could be purchased as property, what became of a man or woman's body?

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People wear clothing to defend their bodies against nature, to define their social roles, and to express their personalities. But what happens when a person is forced to wear clothing chosen by another?

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Illustration of slaves exposed for sale
'I can plow and lay a corn row as good as any man.' - Harriet Smith -- Read and listen Character Spotlight: Harriet Jacobs
Original Documents

When a child, Harriet Jacobs was purchased by Dr. Norcum of Edenton, North Carolina. A house worker, she was privileged to share some of the indulgences bestowed upon the Norcum children.

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Learn about farmers' treatment of enslaved pregnant women and mothers. Investigate other issues related to slave sexuality and gender roles by looking at documents dating back to the Colonial, Antebellum, and Reconstruction periods in American history.

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to compelling first-hand accounts of life during slavery and Reconstruction.
Personal Narratives -- Go!
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