Courtship and Love among the Enslaved in North Carolina

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Overview

"I've heard some of the young people laugh about slave love, but they should envy the love which kept mother and father so close together in life and even held them in death." Alonzo Haywood's comment reflected on the relationship between his father, Willis Haywood, and his mother, Mirana Denson, who were both enslaved in antebellum North Carolina. He explained that while his father was enslaved at Falls of Neuse, he fell in love with Mirana Denson, who lived in Raleigh, "He come to see her every chance he got and then they were married." Reflecting on the strength and sincerity of his parents' feelings for one another he commented, "Mother died near twenty years ago and father died four years later. He had not cared to live since mother left him."
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Product Details

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     3
"Love Seems with Them More to be an Eager Desire": Racialized Stereotypes in the Slaveholding South     22
Asking Master Mack to Court: Competing Spheres of Influence     32
Getting Out to Play and Courting All They Pleased: The Social and Temporal Geographies of Enslaved Courtship     52
Taking a Whipping for Lily: Courtship as a Narrative of Resistance     69
A Red Satin Ribbon Tied around My Finger: The Meaning of the Wedding Ceremony     88
Conclusion     101
Notes     105
Bibliography     123
Index     133
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