Blindness To Gender And Enslavement

“The protocols of aggregation and extrapolation that are at the heart of any attempt to understand the experience of slavery prove to be particularly vexing for the scholar of gender and enslavement. Broad, quantitative trends decenter women’s presence in the Middle Passage and thus they are also sidelined in the histories of foundational generations of new world slave societies. Efforts to disaggregate such data reveal the extent to which records of this sort both illuminate the ideological and economic roots of the traffic in human commodities and at the same time reverberate a kind of willful blindness that characterizes structures of forgetting both during slavery and in its aftermath.”

– Jennifer L. Morgan, “Accounting for “The Most Excruciating Torment”: Gender, Slavery, and the Trans-Atlantic Passages

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