Hidden History: African-American Male Slaves & White Women

The sexual exploitation of female African-American slaves by white male masters in the antebellum South is well known. Jacqueline M. Allain writes in Sexual Relations Between Elite White Women and Enslaved Men in the Antebellum South: A Socio-Historical Analysis that white women also sexually exploited African-American male slaves.

Allain says this has been overlooked because of gendered assumptions (both traditionalist and feminist) about sexual assault.

For example,

Captain Richard J. Hinton, an abolitionist commander in the , “I have never found a bright-looking colored man, whose confidences I have won… who has not told me of instances where he has been compelled, either by his mistress, or by white women of the same class, to have connection with them” (Hodes, pp. 130-131). One former slave told Hinton that his mistress ordered him to sleep with her after her husband died (Hodes, p. 131).

Power and control are the most likely motivations.


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