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Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry (Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia)

Morgan, Philip D.

Editore: The University of North Carolina Press, 1998
ISBN 10: 0807824097 / ISBN 13: 9780807824092
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Titolo: Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the ...

Casa editrice: The University of North Carolina Press

Data di pubblicazione: 1998

Legatura: Hardcover

Condizione libro: New


Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: ContentsList of Illustrations and Tables Abbreviations Introduction Prelude. Two Infant Slave SocietiesPart I. Contours of the Plantation Experience 1. Two Plantation Worlds Two Landscapes Two Plantation Systems Two Populations 2. Material Life Housing Dress Diet 3. Fieldwork Seasons of Labor Organization of Labor Patterns of Labor 4. Skilled Work Occupational Structures The Life Cycle of Skilled Workers Drivers and Foremen Artisans Watermen Household SlavesPart II. Encounters between Whites and Blacks 5. Patriarchs, Plain Folk, and Slaves Masters and Slaves Plain Folk and Slaves 6. Economic Exchanges between Whites and Blacks Channels of Communication Field Hands and Overseers Slaves in the Middle Constant Companions Trade 7. Social Transactions between Whites and Blacks Violence Sex Recreation ReligionPart III. The Black World 8. African American Societies Africans Creoles and Africans Creoles Blacks and Indians Slaves and Free Blacks 9. Family Life Structures Stability Moving and Staying The Significance of Kin 10. African American Cultures Words Play Soul Coda. Two Mature Slave Societies Acknowledgments IndexIllustrations and Tables Plates 1.Industry and Idleness 2. Artifacts 3.Residence and Slave Quarters of Mulberry Plantation 4.Extraordinary Appearances in the Heavens, and on Earth 5. Ferry Tract Plantation 6.SW View of the Settlement of Hartford 7. Fairlawn Plantation 8. Frogmore Plantation 9. Plantation of John Middleton 10. Mortar and Pestle 11. Plantation of John Bull 12. Indigo Culture 13.Perry Hall Slave Quarters with Field Hands at Work 14.Residence of George Heinrick Repold, Lexington Street near Fremont Avenue 15. Colono Ware Jug 16. Blacks Working on the James River 17.Portrait of a Man / Virginia Luxuries 18.Alic, a Fairthful and Humerous Old Servant 19.An Overseer Doing His Duty 20.The Old Plantation 21. Drum and Cane 22.Preparations for the Enjoyment of a Fine Sunday among the Blacks, Norfolk 23.A South View of Julianton Plantation, the Property of Francis Levett, Esqr.Maps 1. The Coastal Origins of African Slaves 2. The Distribution of Black Slaves in South Carolina, 1720-1790 3. The Distribution of Black Slaves in Virginia, 1750-1790Figures 1. Adult Sex Ratios among Slaves in the Chesapeake and South Carolina, 1705-1775 2.Female-Child Ratios among Slaves in the Chesapeake and South Carolina, 1705-1775 3. Population Pyramids of Slaves in the Chesapeake, 1709-1791 4. Population Pyramids of Slaves in the Lowcountry, 1758-1780 5. The Months When Slaves Ran Away, 1732-1781 6. Labor to Cultivate and Process Rice, circa 1800 7. Age Profile of Africans and Creoles among Adult Male Slaves on Elias Ball's Comingtee Plantation, 1778 8. Age Profile of Africans and Creoles among Slaves Belonging to Colonel Stapleton on Saint Helena Island, 1810 9. Age Profile of Runaways in the Chesapeake and Lowcountry, 1732-1787Tables 1. Plantation Size in South Carolina, 1720-1779 2. Plantation Size in Virginia, 1720-1779 3. Landholding in South Carolina Parishes, 1745-1785 4. Landholding in Virginia Counties, 1768-1778 5. Primary Production of Virginia and South Carolina Plantations, 1730-1776 6. Primary Equipment on Virginia and South Carolina Plantations, 1730-1776 7. Livestock on Virginia and South Carolina Plantations, 1730-1776 8. Secondary and Tertiary Equipment on Virginia and South Carolina Plantations, 1730-1776 9. African Immigration to Virginia and South Carolina, 1700-1790 10. Africans in the Virginia and South Carolina Slave Populations, 1700-1800 11. Coastal Origins of Virginia and South Carolina Africans, 1710s-1. Codice inventario libreria ABE_book_new_0807824097

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Riassunto: On the eve of the American Revolution, nearly three-quarters of all African Americans in mainland British America lived in two regions: the Chesapeake, centered in Virginia, and the Lowcountry, with its hub in South Carolina. Here, Philip Morgan compares and contrasts African American life in these two regional black cultures, exploring the differences as well as the similarities. The result is a detailed and comprehensive view of slave life in the colonial American South.
Morgan explores the role of land and labor in shaping culture, the
everyday contacts of masters and slaves that defined the possibilities and limitations of cultural exchange, and finally the interior lives of blacks--their social relations, their family and kin ties, and the major symbolic dimensions of life: language, play, and religion. He provides a balanced appreciation for the oppressiveness of bondage and for the ability of slaves to shape their lives, showing that, whatever the constraints, slaves contributed to the making of their history. Victims of a brutal, dehumanizing system, slaves nevertheless strove to create order in their lives, to preserve their humanity, to achieve dignity, and to sustain dreams of a better future.

Recensione: South Carolina in the 18th century was a colony that had been built on the back of slave labor. By contrast, Virginia only began to "recruit" slaves in large numbers at the beginning of that century. Consequently, although there were some similarities in the black cultures that emerged in the two regions, there were also substantial differences. Philip D. Morgan, a history professor at William and Mary, has produced an intricately detailed comparison of the Lowcountry and Chesapeake cultures that tells us much about the way of life of some of the earliest African Americans.

Looking at everything from the types of work the slaves performed to the houses in which they lived to the food they ate, Morgan reveals the patterned differences between the two slave societies; all slaves were exploited, but not all slaves were exploited alike. He also shows the differences within the societies; the slave experience would be much different for somebody who arrived directly from Africa than it would be for somebody who'd first spent time in the West Indies.

There are even some surprises: relations between the races in early Virginia, for example, were rather flexible, as black slaves came into regular contact with white indentured servants, and as Morgan writes, "the level of exploitation each group suffered inclined them to see the others as sharing their predicament." Furthermore, although there was sexual exploitation of black female slaves by their white masters, there was also a significant amount of consensual interracial sex, among white women and black men as well as white men and black women. That would change as the use of indentured servants declined while large quantities of slaves were imported directly from Africa and as various initiatives were launched by authorities to promote the social separation of the races. Chronicling the visible results of these and other phenomena in straightforward prose that is precise when possible and admits ambiguity when necessary, Morgan makes a crucial element of early American history far less remote to the modern reader.

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