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Introduction

Old Age and American Slavery

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 October 2023

David Stefan Doddington
Affiliation:
Cardiff University
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Summary

The Introduction sets out the historiographical and theoretical grounding for this study on old age in slavery, and provide information on the demographic conditions of slavery appertaining to old age. This book challenges narratives of solidarity between enslaved people and their elders, and shows how far age affected the performance of mastery and shaped white southerners’ interactions with one another. In examining how individuals, families, and communities felt about the aging process and dealt with elders, it emphasizes the complex social relations that developed in a slave society. Showing how old age ran through the arguments of Black activists, abolitionists, proslavery propagandists, and enslavers, the book reveals how representations – and the realities of aging – spoke to wider debates on the politics of paternalism and resistance. Ultimately, by illuminating age as a crucial aspect of the complex web of relations that bound together enslavers and enslaved, the book asks readers to rethink existing narratives relating to networks of solidarity in the American South and emphasizes the all-encompassing violence and exploitation of American slavery.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Introduction
  • David Stefan Doddington, Cardiff University
  • Book: Old Age and American Slavery
  • Online publication: 27 October 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009127974.001
Available formats
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  • Introduction
  • David Stefan Doddington, Cardiff University
  • Book: Old Age and American Slavery
  • Online publication: 27 October 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009127974.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • David Stefan Doddington, Cardiff University
  • Book: Old Age and American Slavery
  • Online publication: 27 October 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009127974.001
Available formats
×