The Black Women’s Role in the Community of Slaves
Looking at the production areas, the enslaved people were typically pressed into what can be described as the mold of breasts. They were forcefully denied or deprived of their humanity. Nevertheless, amidst all this, the community seemingly gravitating towards the domestic quarters might potentially allow retrieval of the woman and men in their fundamental humanity. Here, it is possible to make assumptions that, in a material sense, it was merely in domestic life, particularly away from the whip and the glaring eyes of the overseer, that the enslaved people could try to defend the small amount of freedom they still had. Only at this point women could be inspired or encouraged to project their many techniques and approaches of enlarging it further by leveling the few weapons they practically possessed against the slaveholding class whose unchecked drive, mainly for profit, was their only source of anguish and misery.
Concerning the African slave woman, it is worth pointing out that in the living quarters, the main responsibilities or duties “naturally” fell to her (Davis 5). During this period, the African black woman was tasked with, among other things, keeping the home neat and in order. This rule, in particular, was dictated mainly by the male supremacist ideology ably orchestrated by the white society in America. Similarly, it was woven into African patriarchal traditions (Davis 5). Regarding her biological destiny, the back woman ordinarily bore the fruits of procreation. Regarding the social dictates, the black woman was expected to cook, wash, sew, clean the house, and, more importantly, raise the children. Conventionally, the labor of females and domestic chores was intended to, among other things, complement and subsequently confirm their inferiority (Davis 6). Nevertheless, with the introduction of a black slave woman, there is a peculiar twist in affairs. This is because, in the ultimate anguish and anger of ministering to the unbalanced requirements of children and men around her that is people who were not necessarily members of immediate family, the black woman carried out the task of the slave community that the oppressors could not directly and immediately claim.
Consequently, there needed to be more compensation, particularly for work in various filed. The reason behind this is that, at the time, it served no useful purpose, especially for the enslaved people. Here, domestic work was typically the only work that made sense to the slave community. The community discounted some of the exceptional circumstances as negligible, specifically where enslaved people could stand a chance of receiving payments for their completed work.
Exactly through carrying out hard and equally monotonous routine work considered a central expression, particularly of women’s socially conditioned or predetermined inferiority, the black woman in chains could be instrumental in laying the foundation for some degree of autonomy for her men and herself. Even as the black woman suffered particularly under her extraordinary oppression, specifically as a female, the black woman was typically pushed forward by the force of different situations into the glaring center of the slave community (Davis 7). In this instance, the black woman was instrumental to the ultimate survival of the community. Fundamentally, not everyone has managed to survive enslavement. Therefore, the black woman’s survival-oriented endeavors were, in their own right, a form of resistance. Furthermore, survival was the requirement, particularly for all greater levels of struggle.
The black woman was a victim of a myth and misconception that only women with lessened capacity for physical and mental work should carry out devalued household chores or work. However, the supposed advantages or benefits of the femininity ideology never accrued to her. The woman was neither protected nor sheltered. She was similarly there in the fields with the men where they together toiled particularly under the lash from sun-up to sun-down (Davis 8). In one of the biggest ironies of slavery, it was expected that for the community to approach its strategic objective, the woman had to be set free or be released from the bondage of the myths and conceptions of femininity.
Consequently, to properly carry out her duties as an enslaved person, the black woman had to be annulled as a woman. The sheer force of things played a big part in rendering her equal to her man. Thus, excepting the role of a woman, particularly as the household’s caretaker, various structures by the male supremacist could not be deeply embedded in the community’s internal working system. Even though the ruling class was purely male and fanatically chauvinistic, the slave system could not give the black man the appearance of a better or privileged position vis-à-vis the black woman (Davis 7). Fundamentally, it was not possible, particularly for the slave man, to be superior who could not be questioned within the community or “family” because such things as “family provided” did not exist among the enslaved people. Noteworthy, the attainment of slavery’s intrinsic objective was solely dependent on the fullest usage of the productive capabilities of everyone, including women, men, and the child. In this regard, everyone was expected to “provide” for the master. As such, the black woman was completely integrated into the productive force. The bell is scheduled to ring at 4 a.m., and both men and women have approximately 30 minutes to prepare. When it all started, women were expected to work as hard as men and carry out similar tasks. (Davis 8).
Davis, A. (1981). Reflections on the Black Woman’s Role in the Community of Slaves. The Black Scholar, 12(6), 2–15.