Roles of Enslaved Women in the Sugar Estates

Topics: Slavery / Pages: 5 (1023 words) / Published: Oct 12th, 2012
Introduction Enslaved women roles rarely appear in History books; mainly because men have written them. Women have always been a major part in history especially since they lived longer than men. But put aside the gender bias and it will be seen how women worked just as hard as men and at times even harder. Women were not only Laborers, but they were also Companions, Combatants, and Mothers. For them, as women, they endured a lot during their enslavement. They should not be judged as how white people used to view them. Some white people thought that it was their right to abuse of enslaved African women since they had bought them. They, enslaved women, might have endured even more than men but nothing is written down in history books. All of this made women fight a difficult battle against their masters towards their emancipation.

Laborers Women entered into field work because they were cheaper to buy. Male slaves became involved with carpentry and blacksmithing because it was a more skilled labor, which lead to female slaved being bought to work in the fields. This eventually made the plantation have more female slaves than males. When on small farms, women did the same jobs men would do but when on a large scale plantation, the work was divided. The men would go chop wood for fences while the women would be in charge of the construction of the fence itself. Men would be the ones who plowed the fields while women, on the other hand would be the ones who hoed. Since men put to work on non-field occupations, the women took over the field work, out-numbered the men and dominated in field work. Enslaved women also worked as domestic workers inside the slave master’s house. They were the ones responsible for the cooking and the cleaning and the washing. Everything that a maid would do in this present time, they did in the past.

Companions In the late 1620’s slave women were brought to New Amsterdam as company for the slave men. The women believed in



Cited: “Cultivation and Culture: Labor and the Shaping of Slave Life in the Americas” By Ira Berlin (1993) “Enslaved women and slavery before and after 1807” Diana Paton; Date: 2007; Journal: History in Focus; Volume: 12; Publisher: University of London, Institute of Historical Research; Publication type: Article “Men, Women, & Gender” By: Jennifer Hallam “AN EVEN STRONGER WOMAN: THE ENSLAVED BLACK CARIBBEAN WOMAN” By: Genise Vertus

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