Download Black Yankees: the development of an Afro-American by William Dillon Piersen PDF

By William Dillon Piersen

This e-book examines the improvement of an Afro-American lifestyle in eighteenth-century New England. Piersen issues himself now not with the equipment of slave keep watch over or the political and social disabilities of bondage, yet with the strategies of cultural swap and construction from the black bondsman's standpoint. What used to be it wish to be an African immigrant in colonial New England? What attitudes and assumptions underlay the Afro-American reaction to Yankee tradition? What does the advance in the confines of a predominantly white and ethnocentric New England of an Afro-American people tradition in faith, public rituals, folks arts and crafts, social mores, and day-by-day habit say in regards to the construction of yankee culture?

On the face of it, the grasp type referred to as the tunes and slaves danced the beat. Blacks who have been taken into New England's bondage have been basically engulfed in a pervasive, narrow-minded Euro-American society that had no real interest in fostering Afro-American autonomy. the hot England adventure used to be frequently merciless, and the numbers on my own recommend it used to be one of the so much unequal of black/white cultural contacts within the New international. still, regardless of the strictures of bondage, the black Yankees of eighteenth-century New England created a maintaining people tradition in their personal.

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Extra resources for Black Yankees: the development of an Afro-American subculture in eighteenth-century New England

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Unlike European immigrants they had never desired to leave their home continent; neither had they come seeking freedom or fortune. Instead, for the slaves the American dream had begun as a nightmare. Still, the bondsmen were not impervious to the possibilities of the new land. The siren song of the Americas must have shaped their dreams, too, as they tossed on hard pallets during cold New England nights. Indeed, their lives must have been especially frustrating since, unlike the fieldhands of plantation America, the Yankee bondsmen could not escape the pervasiveness of the surrounding Euro-American culture.

12 Since slave spouses often lived in separate residences of different masters, the opportunities for conception were limited, a condition probably pleasing to the masters. 14 The rate of increase of black population was also adversely affected by an unbalanced sex ratio caused by a preponderance of men within the serving society. Male slaves were predominant in the African trade by a margin of as much as two to one over women, in part because they could fill a greater variety of job roles than could their female counterparts.

8 The selling of newborn children away from their natural parents may have been instigated in many cases by the death of the natural mothers in childbirth or soon after; other sales of young slave children may have resulted from cases of bastardy. Nonetheless, many legitimate black children seem to have been sold away from their mothers by callous masters who wished to avoid the costs of their upbringing. Since the practice of separating white children from their natural parents to follow training and domestic work in other households had been relatively common in seventeenth-century New England, the developing practice of separating black families probably did not seem especially cruel to northern slave owners.

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