50 shades of slavery : sexual assault of black male slaves in antebellum America
Perkins, Dedrick K.
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Male slave owners used sexual assault to dominate, dehumanize, and emasculate male slaves in American Antebellum South. The oppression and violence that characterized the institution of chattel slavery are easily accessible, as well as the sexual assault often inflicted on female slaves. Although many slave narratives and journals address female rape and other forms of sexual assault, the abuse endured by male slaves has been grossly overlooked. The intention of this paper is not to discredit the suffering of female slaves, but the research suggested that the same use of sexual assault as a form of discipline and control was applied to male slaves. There is a general consensus that only women were subjected to the violently lustful assaults of slave owners. A closer analysis of the narratives of Olaudah Equiano, Harriet Jacobs, and Frederick Douglas revealed the underlying issue that male slaves were going through similar situations. All of this was an attempt to increase American wealth through the forced labor of an entire race.