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Family or FreedomPeople of Color in the Antebellum South$
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Emily West

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813136929

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813136929.001.0001

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Expulsion, Enslavement, and Ties across the Color Line

Expulsion, Enslavement, and Ties across the Color Line

(p.123) 5 Expulsion, Enslavement, and Ties across the Color Line
Family or Freedom

Emily West

University Press of Kentucky

Chapter five continues this emphasis upon personal relationships by offering hypotheses about why apparently single women might request bondage. It explores cases where enslavement petitions submitted on behalf of black women were (or may have been) related to issues of interracial intimate relationships, especially when free women of color petitioned for their own enslavement and also that of their free black children. While some free black women were cajoled into enslavement by white men, others believed their best hope in life was to remain where they were as slaves and were prepared to sacrifice their free status for themselves and that of their children. The chapter also considers more broadly the extent to which issues of expulsion and enslavement highlight ties along the line of gender across black and white lives, among black and white women.

Keywords:   Interracial relationships, Petitions, Free black women, Free black children, Free status, Gender, White women

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