Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-6b989bf9dc-vmcqm Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-13T20:18:27.955Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

7 - “Old God damn son-of-a-bitch, she gone on down to hell”

Elderly Enslavers and Enslaved Resistance

from Part II - Enslavers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 October 2023

David Stefan Doddington
Affiliation:
Cardiff University
Get access

Summary

Historians have long stressed the significance enslavers accorded to public demonstrations of authority, dominance, and independence, as well as the wider significance of these ideals to the dynamics of slavery. Recent work on the violence and exploitation of slavery has reiterated the terrifying power enslavers wielded, and the harm this caused to enslaved people. In presenting enslavers as such dominant figures, however, there is a danger that we confirm their own self-image as masterful even while rejecting their claims of benevolence. A more nuanced narrative becomes possible when we consider how the performance of mastery came under pressure – both internal and external – as enslavers aged. Enslavers could not stop time from marching on and the pressures associated with aging – both real and imagined – wreaked havoc on their public and private claims of dominance. Enslaved people understood that mastery was never ordained, but instead embodied. Bodies, Black and white, enslaver and enslaved, were all subject to the “ravages of time.” Knowledge of this fact was applied when enslaved people crafted individual and collective strategies for survival and forms of resistance.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

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 Dropbox.

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.

Available formats
×