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Out of the House of Bondage: The…

Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation…

by Thavolia Glymph

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Thavolia Glymph analyzes the power relations between black and white southern women within the plantation household in the antebellum, Civil War, and immediately post-Civil War American South utilizing primarily slave narratives/interviews and the diaries and letters of white mistresses.

Glymph narrows her focus severely to only relationship between black and white women in traditional plantation households in the American South. It was surprising to see the illogical conclusions white mistresses would come to in their fervent desire to hold on to their racism. It was also interesting to see how black women, out of a need to protect their families, particularly children, frequently rebelled in quieter, more subtle ways against the racism, such as by pretending to not know how to do something (in the antebellum South) or by refusing to work on Sundays (in the post-war South). Although the content itself was interesting, I found myself wishing I was reading the ex-slave interviews and mistresses' diaries myself and drawing my own conclusion rather than reading Glymph's sometimes heavy-handed analysis. That may be a personal preference, however.

Check out my full review: http://wp.me/pp7vL-DK ( )
  gaialover | Dec 3, 2011 |
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Glymph challenges popular depictions of mistresses as 'friends' and 'allies' of slaves in the plantation household.

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