By Cynthia M. Kennedy
"[A] wonderful, deeply researched, and gracefully written social history." ―Leslie Schwalm, college of Iowa
This research of ladies in antebellum Charleston, South Carolina, appears to be like on the roles of girls in an city slave society. Cynthia M. Kennedy takes up problems with gender, race, situation (slave or free), and sophistication and examines the methods each one contributed to conveying and replicating energy. She analyses what it intended to be a lady in a global the place traditionally particular social classifications made up our minds own future and the place whilst humans of colour and white humans mingled day-by-day. Kennedy’s examine examines the lives of the ladies of Charleston and the diversity in their makes an attempt to barter the net of social family members that ensnared them.
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Extra resources for Braided Relations, Entwined Lives: The Women of Charleston's Urban Slave Society
In city markets and along the streets, female slaves sold a variety of foods, dry goods, and handcrafted items. Charleston markets truly were “black markets” because women of color dominated them. In 1763 city commissioners complained that “Negroes and other slaves . . ” In fall 1772, other white city residents protested that market women “possessed . . large sums of money,” and they were “contemptuous” of the government. White Charlestonians persisted in their complaints, and they were simultaneously suspicious and jealous of market women’s independent economic activity, but the city’s black markets endured nonetheless.
Moreover, abandoning Carolina with loyalist owners simply meant enslavement in a new and strange location. More than one slave woman ran away and relied on a network of friends and kin to avoid embarking the next day. 12 Flight was but one symptom of the changes the American Revolution wrought in the lives of women of color. Rebellion had many faces. Escape was one visage, but slave women also remained in their owners’ households and seized upon other opportunities to engage in subversive activities both within and beyond the master’s doors.
3 War created opportunities as well as liabilities. What was one woman’s problem was another woman’s good fortune. The absent patriarchs, for example, created a power vacuum that slaves exploited to their advantage. They acted more “impertinent[ly],” refused to deliver wages to their mistresses, and ran away with greater frequency and impunity. ” On the other hand, while the absence of male kin generated problems for master-class ladies, these women also discovered life-altering reserves of strength and ingenuity.