Black People : Putting an Antebellum Myth to Rest

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by oldsoul, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Putting an Antebellum Myth to Rest
    By TERA W. HUNTER

    WAS slavery an idyllic world of stable families headed by married parents? The recent controversy over “The Marriage Vow,” a document endorsed by the Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, might seem like just another example of how racial politics and historical ignorance are perennial features of the election cycle.
    The vow, which included the assertion that “a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President,” was amended after the outrage it stirred.
    However, this was not a harmless gaffe; it represents a resurfacing of a pro-slavery view of “family values” that was prevalent in the decades before the Civil War. The resurrection of this idea has particular resonance now, because it was 150 years ago, soon after the war began, that the government started to respect the dignity of slave families. Slaves did not live in independent “households”; they lived under the auspices of masters who controlled the terms of their most intimate relationships.
    Back in 1860, marriage was a civil right and a legal contract, available only to free people. Male slaves had no paternal rights and female slaves were recognized as mothers only to the extent that their status doomed their children’s fate to servitude in perpetuity. To be sure, most slaves did all that they could to protect, sustain and nurture their loved ones. Freedom and the love of family are the most abiding themes that dominate the hundreds of published narratives written by former slaves.
    Though slaves could not marry legally, they were allowed to do so by custom with the permission of their owners — and most did. But the wedding vows they recited promised not “until death do us part,” but “until distance” — or, as one black minister bluntly put it, “the white man” — “do us part.” And couples were not entitled to live under the same roof, as each spouse could have a different owner, miles apart. All slaves dealt with the threat of forcible separation; untold numbers experienced it first-hand.
    Among the best-known of these stories is that of Henry “Box” Brown, who mailed himself from Richmond, Va., to Philadelphia in 1849 to escape slavery. “No slave husband has any certainty whatever of being able to retain his wife a single hour; neither has any wife any more certainty of her husband,” Brown wrote in his narrative of his escape. “Their fondest affection may be utterly disregarded, and their devoted attachment cruelly ignored at any moment a brutal slave-holder may think fit.”
    He had been married for 12 months and was the father of an infant when his wife was sold to a nearby planter. After 12 more years of long-distance marriage, his wife and children were sold out of state, sundering their family.
    Slave marriages were not granted out of the goodness of “ole massa’s” heart. Rather, they were used as tools to keep slaves in line and to increase profits. Many slaves were forced to marry people they did not choose or to copulate like farm animals — with masters, overseers and fellow slaves...

    The rest: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/02/o...o-rest.html?_r=3&ref=opinion&pagewanted=print
     
  2. Shikamaru

    Shikamaru Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The use of "slave marriages" falls under the term natural increase.

    Natural increase is analogous to profit except it is applied to plants, animals, and slaves.
     
  3. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Good point, Shikamaru!
    [​IMG]

    Natural increase prevails over much of the country, with the exception of much of the Great Plains, from Texas to Canada, and northern Appalachia. High levels of natural increase, over 6 percent (orange and magenta on Map 1) occur in five kinds of areas that are really highly predictable.

    • First, areas of high Hispanic population, mainly from Texas to southern and central California, but also in parts of eastern Washington and southwestern Kansas.​
    • Second, Native American Indian reservation areas, most obviously in Alaska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Arizona but also Montana and North Dakota.​
    • Third, the Mormon “culture belt,” spreading from the “Zion” of Utah to Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming.​
    • Fourth, rapidly growing suburban and exurban counties, most notably around Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Atlanta, Washington DC, Chicago, Minneapolis, Charlotte and Denver, and​
    • fifth, in counties with military bases, for example, in North Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma and several other states.​

    Above average natural increase, from 4 to 6 percent, is typical of many modestly growing metropolitan areas, both central and suburban and exurban counties, and in a scattering of rural-small town counties, especially in the west (western Colorado is notable). Low natural increase, under 2 percent, is very widespread across both urban and rural areas, and is often indicative of slow-growing economies with out-migration (please see Map 2), and in areas moderately attractive to older migrants, thus depressing births, but not enough to cause natural decrease.
     
  4. Khasm13

    Khasm13 STAFF STAFF

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    bachmann is worse than sarah palin to me because she seems to actually have some book knowledge but still spouts dumb racist ish....at least u can blame sarah's comments on her stupidity....

    one love
    khasm
     
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