Rosa E. Carrasquillo, Our Landless Patria: Marginal Citizenship and Race in Caguas, Puerto Rico, 1880-1910. U of Nebraska Press, 2006.
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Continue reading “BOOK: Findlay on Race and Sexuality in Puerto Rico”
Historian Talitha LeFlouria examines the incarcerated labor of Black women in Reconstruction-era Georgia – work that rebuilt the South’s infrastructure and industrial economy under brutal conditions, enabled by the social language and legal mechanisms around Black lives that persist in America’s modern mass incarceration complex.
A’Lelia Bundles writes on her blog about anti-lynching protests in the United States:
“As the Civil War drew to a close, newly emancipated black women workers made their way to Atlanta—the economic hub of the newly emerging urban and industrial south—in order to build an independent and free life on the rubble of their enslaved past. In an original and dramatic work of scholarship, Tera Hunter traces their lives in the postbellum era and reveals the centrality of their labors to the African-American struggle for freedom and justice. Household laborers and washerwomen were constrained by their employers’ domestic worlds but constructed their own world of work, play, negotiation, resistance, and community organization.
Hunter follows African-American working women from their newfound optimism and hope at the end of the Civil War to their struggles as free domestic laborers in the homes of their former masters. We witness their drive as they build neighborhoods and networks and their energy as they enjoy leisure hours in dance halls and clubs. We learn of their militance and the way they resisted efforts to keep them economically depressed and medically victimized. Finally, we understand the despair and defeat provoked by Jim Crow laws and segregation and how they spurred large numbers of black laboring women to migrate north.
Hunter weaves a rich and diverse tapestry of the culture and experience of black women workers in the post–Civil War south. Through anecdote and data, analysis and interpretation, she manages to penetrate African-American life and labor and to reveal the centrality of women at the inception—and at the heart—of the new south.”
“This Article examines the calculated deployment of sexualized violence by the Reconstruction-era klans and its relationship to competing notions of justice, citizenship, and sexual propriety. Exploring what is distinctly sexual about klan terror–the sheer pervasiveness, intensity, and ideological coherence of these acts perpetrated as they were within a system of racial dominance long marked by forced sex and procreation–establishes sexualized violence as an essential aspect of the postwar Southern condition. Resonant throughout these events was the indefeasible legacy of slavery. Much as slaveowners and their minions used sexual violence and coercion in displaying and exercising mastery over their human chattel, klansmen systematically molested and violated their victims in an attempt to reinstantiate white male dominance in its antebellum form, in effect replacing the legal infrastructure of slavery that had once authorized their status with extralegal supports of their own making. Violent sex was in both of these cases a performance of status by the dominant actors and a harshly lived reality for its victims. The enduring consequences of these experiences for the freedpeople, their white sympathizers,and subsequent generations lend important insights into the nature of historical traumatization,its potency and memorialization.”
Read the rest: JSTOR ($$)
Saidiya V. Hartman, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.
In Lose Your Mother, Saidiya Hartman traces the history of the Atlantic slave trade by recounting a journey she took along a slave route in Ghana. Following the trail of captives from the hinterland to the Atlantic coast, she reckons with the blank slate of her own genealogy and vividly dramatizes the effects of slavery on three centuries of African and African American history.The slave, Hartman observes, is a stranger—torn from family, home, and country. To lose your mother is to be severed from your kin, to forget your past, and to inhabit the world as an outsider. There are no known survivors of Hartman’s lineage, no relatives in Ghana whom she came hoping to find. She is a stranger in search of strangers, and this fact leads her into intimate engagements with the people she encounters along the way and with figures from the past whose lives were shattered and transformed by the slave trade. Written in prose that is fresh, insightful, and deeply affecting, Lose Your Mother is a “landmark text” (Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams).
Editor’s Note: The first in a series of long overdue additions to #ADPhD. Subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates.