African American Slavery and Disability

ISBN: 9780415537247

$140.00 $119.00

Disability is often mentioned in discussions of slave health, mistreatment and abuse, but constructs of how “able” and “disabled” bodies influenced the institution of slavery has gone largely overlooked. This volume uncovers a history of disability in African American slavery from the primary record, analyzing how concepts of race, disability, and power converged in the United States in the first half of the nineteenth century. Slaves with physical and mental impairments often faced unique limitations and conditions in their diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation as property. Slaves with disabilities proved a significant challenge to white authority figures, torn between the desire to categorize them as different or defective and the practical need to incorporate their “disorderly” bodies into daily life. Being physically “unfit” could sometimes allow slaves to escape the limitations of bondage and oppression, and establish a measure of self-control. Furthermore, ideas about and reactions to disability—appearing as social construction, legal definition, medical phenomenon, metaphor, or masquerade—highlighted deep struggles over bodies in bondage in antebellum America.

Categories: ,
Title:
African American Slavery and Disability
ISBN-10:
041553724X
ISBN-13:
9780415537247
Author:
Dea H. Boster
Publisher:
CRC Press
Published Date:
20121218
Binding
Hardback
Pages:
184
Language:
English
Product Dim.:
9 H x 6 W (inches)

Dea H. Boster

Dea Boster received her Ph.D. in History at the University of Michigan and is an Instructor for the Humanities Department at Columbus State Community College.

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About the Author

Dea Boster received her Ph.D. in History at the University of Michigan and is an Instructor for the Humanities Department at Columbus State Community College.

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