Conceived in violence: enslaved mothers and children born of rape in nineteenth-century Louisiana

Andrea Livesey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
594 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper considers how enslaved women negotiated motherhood when their child had been conceived through sexual violence by examining testimony from formerly enslaved people who had been fathered by white men. Evidence reveals that the relationship between enslaved mothers and their children remained strong, despite sexual trauma and interference into childrearing by slaveholding families. Informants had close knowledge of the non-consensual nature of their conception; and their willingness to discuss sexual violence reflects the lack of stigma attached to rape victims in the slave community, and hints at the way that enslaved communities coped with sexual violence on an institutional level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-391
Number of pages19
JournalSlavery and Abolition
Volume38
Issue number2
Early online date21 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

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