Arent I a woman by deborah gray white

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Ar'n't I a Woman

The hardships of slavery were not easy for anyone whether they were male or female. However, these experiences of hardships differed greatly among black males and females in the south. Male and female slaves had their own ways of dealing with the depression of slavery by passively or actively resisting against their masters. Also, they had different types of work assigned to them usually based on gender and value. Finally, they had different sexual experiences on the plantations. The following paragraphs will further explain these differences in the life experiences of the black male and female slave.

Rebellion of slaves was common on plantations in the south. Yes there were few uprising that involved the massacre of whites in the south but this was not the only method of rebellion used by slaves. Black men were more prone to active resistance than the women. A man would more likely have a massive up rising against the master than a woman would even though this was a rare event. The most common approach to active resistance by black males was to run away from a plantation. Black women however were less likely to run away because they had ties to their children on the plantations. This would not stop them from resisting. The women used passive resistance that involved more subtle tactics like faking sick. Women were more likely to get away with faking sick than the men because the women were valuable to the slave owner due to their reproductive capabilities. Many women like Maria, one of the slaves of President Polk, did this well. Maria starting to claim that she was ill in the year of 1839. This claim kept her out of the fields until 1840 when she was reassigned to the house and learned to weave. Maria suddenly had a remarkable recovery as the overseer Garner would attest, "'Marier aperes to enjoy as good helth at present as any person.'" (pg. 82) Maria became so good at weaving that she said to President Polk that, "She had increased her worth

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