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Slavery


            In 1619 the first Africans were brought to Jamestown as slaves.
             their homes, cultures, and languages. Africans were the perfect victims because they were .
             transported thousands of miles away from home. Therefore, it was nearly impossible to escape .
             slavery. In addition, most of these Africans, men and women, came from different tribes, which .
             made communication between them very difficult. Despite their common bondage, men and .
             women did not experience slavery the same way. .
             Slavery of black men in America was one of the cruelest periods in American history. However, .
             black women in slavery experienced sexual exploitation, childbearing, motherhood, and the .
             slaveholder's sexism. Women slaves were exploited for their reproductive as well as productive .
             capacities. Slaves were treated and traded like animals. Black men were not considered part of .
             the human race and were taught that their enslavement was the way things were meant to be. Out .
             of all the slaves, black women suffered the most. Women were considered to be inferior to men .
             and Blacks were inferior to whites. I once read, black men were worth a dollar and women a .
             quarter.
             Black female slaves did not have the privileged of just staying home, they had to work the fields .
             or in the slave masters home. Black women were denied gender and were treated just like men, .
             sometimes even worse. Black women were denied most of the so-called "rewards" of .
             womanhood while they suffered all of the restrictions and performed all the "woman's work." .
             There is no question that slave women worked as hard as men. They worked as lumberjacks and .
             turpentine producers in the forest of the Carolinas and Georgia. They hauled logs by leather .
             straps attached to their shoulders. They plowed using mule and ox teams, and hoed, sometimes .
             with the heaviest implements available. They dug ditches, spread manure fertilizer, and piled .
             coarse fodder with their bare hands. They built southern roads and railroads, and they cultivated rice, cut cane and tobacco, and picked cotton.


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