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The Life of a Woman Plantation Slave

The life of a “typical” woman plantation slave was one that is somewhat troubling to think about. These women were forced to leave their homes and their families to become the property of a plantation owner who, for the rest of their lives, dictated what these women were to do. These women had to adjust to many different and new things. When a new slave woman arrived, she spent the majority of her time learning the native tongue, learning the new agriculture, and adjusting to the difference in the climate. (Berkin, p. 62). In learning these new things, they also had to learn to be totally submissive to their masters in body and mind or they suffered abuse and this abuse included sexual abuse as well. In order to fully understand the life of a “typical” woman plantation slave, it is important to know where she came from, the type of work she does, what her relationships are, and how she copes with her lifestyle. In the late seventeenth century, the importation of Africans from the coastal regions of Africa begins. (Evans p. 27) This proves to be an asset for plantation owners as African women were known for their abilities in agriculture and, therefore, their expertise at planting and cultivating could be put to use to produce huge crops for the plantation. Men and women were both put to work in the fields at the discretion of their masters. Their workdays were very long going from sunup to well into the evening hours. Early on men and women on the plantation did the same types of work which usually included planting and harvesting by hand. Later on when plantation owners began using the plow instead of the hoe, the men were responsible for doing the more skilled labor such as plowing and the women were left in the fields to hoe what could not be done with the plow or to transport harvested grain from the fields to the barns on their backs. (Berkin, p. 62) Women did not only work in the fields though. Some slave women...

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The Life of a Woman Plantation Slave. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 19:04, October 22, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/836.html