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By any other name.Americana, segregated, Deep South, Civil War, quadroon balls, mulatto, America, rape, sexual advances, Slave men

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Another image of Americana is of the south being deeply segregated in all matters, especially during the Civil War period. In reality, in some matters this wasn't so.

In many parts of the Deep South race mixing was tolerated. In fact "[s]o common was mixing among the elites of both races that it came to be institutionalized in `quadroon balls.'" This was a social event were wealthy white men courted prospective mulatto mistresses(1 ).

Even what would be called consensual sex is jaded by the factor of the master slave relationship, and the blacks place in early America society.

Another aspect that would now be considered rape would be the breeding of slaves(2 ).

Out and out rape occurred to Slaves. One ex slave said about her masters sexual advances and his slave women "Old Bufford--his darkies had chillen by him, and Mammy wouldn't do it; and I've seen him take a paddle with holes in it and beat her, and everywhere it hit it raised a blister; then he would take a switch and break them blisters." (3 ).

After repeatedly being raped by her master, on June 23, 1855, a slave woman named Celia warned her master if he did not stop raping her he would hurt him. On her masters next visit to rape her, Celia took a stick and killed her master. During her trial she argued that though she was a slave she had the right to defend her self. The court rejected this argument(3).

Slave men were powerless to protect their wives as this story indicates. "Then there was old Sam Watkins,--he would ship their husbands (slaves) out of bed and get in with their wives. One man said he stood it as long as he could and one morning he just stood outside, and when he got with his wife he just choked him to death. He said he knew it was death, but it was death anyhow; so he just killed him. They hanged him." (4).

It's even been suggest "that the strongest reason why southerners stick with such tenacity to their 'peculiar institution,' is because licentious white men could not carry out their wicked purposes among the defenseless colored population, as they now do, without being exposed and punished by law if slavery was abolished." (5).


Americana, segregated, Deep South, Civil War, quadroon balls, mulatto, America, rape, sexual advances, Slave men