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Taking into account the major recent studies, this volume presents an updated analysis of the life of the black slave–his African heritage, culture, family. The Slave Community. Plantation Life in the Antelbellum South. By John W. Blassingame (New York: Oxford University Press,. 1 ix plus pp. Illustrated. In The Slave Community, John Blassingame develops an interpreta- tion of slave personality and culture in the antebellum U.S. South, draw- ing heavily on.

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A Review of Reviews”, in Gilmore, ed. One of the most intriguing sections of the book involves a discussion of the place of religion, and authoritative religious figures, in both the white and black communities. The Slave Community contradicted those historians who had interpreted history to suggest that African American slaves were docile and submissive ” Sambos ” who enjoyed the benefits of a paternalistic master-slave relationship on southern plantations.

Irving Goffman and Henry Stack Commubity. A New Deal for Blacks: The book was definitely insightful, and knowing the culture of African slavery in Antebellum America was eye opening to me. In these ” invisible churches “, slaves could discuss freedom, liberty, and the judgment of God against slaveowners. No trivia or quizzes yet. He argues that variations present in plantations, overseers, and masters gave the fhe “much more freedom from restraint and more independence and autonomy than his institutionally defined role allowed.

Sydnor’s Slavery in MississippiOrville W. An interdisciplinary journal about the regions, places, and cultures of the American South Kolchin, Peter. Some masters were kind, and some ths cruel, and some wavered between both, and some slaves adapted, and some didn’t, and some abolitionists were accurate, and some twisted the truth, and it’s not that he is not right, but the frequent see-sawing leaves a feeling that you aren’t really getting anywhere.

A book all American historians could read with profit. It spurs much discussion. Genovese, “Toward a Psychology of Slavery: Taking into account the major recent studies, this volume thr an updated analysis of the life of the black slave–his African heritage, culture, family, acculturation, behavior, religion, and personality.


The Slave Community

Sep 05, Jim rated it it was ok. To ask other readers questions about The Slave Communityplease sign up. It will open your eyes to much. The only weakness about this book is that it was written a while ago, and could use a solid updating. Du Bois criticized Phillips’s depiction of slaves, [2] the book slafe considered the authoritative text on slavery in America until the s.

The Slave Community – Wikipedia

We have had very largely a male-dominated literature about slavery. Plantation Life in the Antebellum South ; rev. Hanging Bridge Jason Morgan Ward. Jonathan Brantley rated it really liked it Dec 10, In The History TeacherKeith Polakoff comments that “only with the publication of Blassingame’s work do we obtain for the first time a detailed examination of the daily lives of the slaves on large plantations, with some intelligent speculation about the forces to which they were subjected.

The very opposite was true. Historians criticized Blassingame for dismissing the WPA slave interviews and relying solely on fugitive slave narratives. Sociological Justice Donald Black. Like Phillips, Stampp and Elkins relied on plantation records and the writings of slaveowners as their main primary sources.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Examines Black pre-Civil War culture and the slave family, detailing sexual attitudes, courtship practices and wedding ceremonies, childrearing, familial roles, language, and discipline. Directly challenging Blassigame infantilization thesis, Blassingame argues that historians have focused too much on the Sambo personality type and the role of paternalism.

University of Chicago Press,chap. Southern writers felt a need to defend slavery from allegations of abuse and brutality leveled by northern abolitionists, so Sambo became a common portrayal to justify and explain the need for plantation paternalism.

Using psychology, Blassingame analyzes fugitive slave narratives published in the 19th century to conclude that an independent culture developed among the enslaved and that there were a variety of personality types exhibited by slaves. Observations and Tables”, in The Slave Communityp.


One is that I did learn from it, and found information that I had not previously known. Blassingame asserts that slave parents attempted to shield infants and young children from the brutality of the plantation. Although the importance of The Slave Community was recognized by scholars of American slavery, Blassingame’s conclusions, methodology, and sources were heavily criticized. Still, Blassingame concludes that cross-cultural exchanges occurred on southern plantations, arguing that ” acculturation in the United States involved the mutual interaction between two cultures, with Europeans and Africans borrowing from each other.

Blassingame notes that many of the folk tales told by slaves have been traced by African scholars to GhanaSenegaland Mauritania to peoples such as the EweWolofHausaTemneAshantiand Igbo. Their exact location on a scale of one to ten will always remain a matter of opinion. Historians exhibited varying responses to Blassingame’s use of psychological theory. Du Bois, and Manning Marable. Although African American academics such as W.

Reviews in American History 1 December Previous publication dates November The Economics of American Negro Slavery A primary source that Blassingame did not consult in his study was the WPA slave interviews. Although, I’ll be lenient to remember that Blassingame admitting that there weren’t enough sources to clarify some of the aspects he pointed out towards the end of the book.

He observed that during courtship men flattered women and exaggerated their prowess. Rawick points out, more weight was often given to white sources: Such confusion reminds the historian that members of the same race can easily misinterpret the actions of their immediate forebears Sarah Jones rated it really liked it Aug 12, According to this theory, “a person’s behavior is generally determined by the socially defined roles or the behavioral patterns expected of him in certain situations.