Added: November 30, 2013 – Last updated: April 25, 2015


Author: Gregory D. Smithers

Title: Slave Breeding

Subtitle: Sex, Violence, and Memory in African American History

Place: Gainesville, FL

Publisher: University Press of Florida

Year: 2012

Pages: 279pp.

ISBN-13: 9780813042381 (cloth) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9780813049601 (paper) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: 19th Century, 20th Century | U.S. History | Types: Slave Rape; Victims: Slaves


Link: Amazon (Limited Preview)

Link: EBSCOhost (Restricted Access)


Author: Gregory Smithers, Department of History, Virginia Commonwealth


  List of Figures (p. ix)
  Acknowledgments (p. xi)
  Introduction (p. 1)
  1. American Abolitionism and Slave-Breeding Discourse (p. 20)
  2. Slavery, the Lost Cause, and African American History (p. 44)
  3. Black History and Slave Breeding in the Early Twentieth Century (p. 63)
  4. The Theater of Memory (p. 83)
  5. The WPA Narratives and Slave Breeding (p. 101)
  6. Sex, Violence, and the Quest for Civil Rights (p. 127)
  7. Slave Breeding in Literature, Film, and New Media (p. 144)
  Epilogue (p. 170)
  Notes (p. 175)
  Bibliography (p. 213)
  Index (p. 253)


»For over two centuries, the topic of slave breeding has occupied a controversial place in the master narrative of American history. From nineteenth-century abolitionists to twentieth-century filmmakers and artists, Americans have debated whether slave owners deliberately and coercively manipulated the sexual practices and marital status of enslaved African Americans to reproduce new generations of slaves for profit.
In this bold and provocative book, historian Gregory Smithers investigates how African Americans have narrated, remembered, and represented slave-breeding practices. He argues that while social and economic historians have downplayed the significance of slave breeding, African Americans have refused to forget the violence and sexual coercion associated with the plantation South. By placing African American histories and memories of slave breeding within the larger context of America’s history of racial and gender discrimination, Smithers sheds much-needed light on African American collective memory, racialized perceptions of fragile black families, and the long history of racially motivated violence against men, women, and children of color.« (Source: University Press of Florida)


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Wikipedia: Slave breeding in the United States, Treatment of slaves in the United States