Swing the Sickle for the Harvest Is Ripe : Gender and Slavery in Antebellum Georgia

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2007-07-27
  • Publisher: Univ of Illinois Pr

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"Swing the Sickle for the Harvest Is Ripe" compares the work, family, and economic experiences of enslaved women and men in upcountry and lowland Georgia during the nineteenth century. Mining planters' daybooks, plantation records, and a wealth of other sources, Daina Ramey Berry shows how slaves' experiences on large plantations, which were essentially self-contained, closed communities, contrasted with those on small plantations, where planters' interests in sharing their workforce allowed slaves more open, fluid communications. By inviting readers into slaves' internal lives through her detailed examination of domestic violence, separation and sale, and forced breeding, Berry also reveals important new ways of understanding what it meant to be a female or male slave, as well as how public and private aspects of slave life influenced each other on the plantation.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
"I Had to Work Hard, Plow, and Go and Split Wood Jus' Like a Man": Skill, Gender, and Productivity in Agricultural Settingsp. 13
"Dey S'lected Me Out to Be a Housegirl": The Privileges and Pain of Nonagricultural Laborp. 35
"There Sho' Was a Sight of Us": Enslaved Family and Community Ritualsp. 52
"O, I Never Has Forgot Dat Last Dinner wit My Folks": Enslaved Family and Community Realitiesp. 76
"For the Current Year": The Informal Economy and Slave Hiringp. 104
Epilogue: The Aftermath of Slaveryp. 129
p. 135
p. 138
p. 144
p. 146
Notesp. 167
Bibliographyp. 203
Indexp. 219
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