“To Make Her Own Bargains with Boats": Gender, Labor, and Freedom in the Western Steamboat World
Authors: Alisha Hines, Wake Forest University
Comment: Tiya Miles, Harvard University
Tuesday 8 December
Virtual Event - hosted by the Massachusetts Historical Society
Free and enslaved Black women have been rendered nearly invisible in the historical and popular imagination of the antebellum steamboat world. This essay examines how enslaved and free Black women negotiated power and place in this environment that was fraught with danger, but also brimming with opportunity. Hines argues that Black women who were unmoored from plantation landscapes by way of the western rivers trouble prevailing tropes of gendered mobility and immobility that pervade scholarship on slavery in the United States.
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