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Eroticism, Spirituality, and Resistance in Black Women’s
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Donna Aza Weir-Soley

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813033778

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813033778.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

The Cult of Nineteenth-Century Black Womanhood

The Cult of Nineteenth-Century Black Womanhood

Chapter:
(p.12) 1 The Cult of Nineteenth-Century Black Womanhood
Source:
Eroticism, Spirituality, and Resistance in Black Women’s Writings
Author(s):

Donna Aza Weir-Soley

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813033778.003.0002

The difference/deviance model in which black women were portrayed in Europe as both grotesque and fascinating, repulsive and yet so strangely compelling that Europeans would go to great lengths to view their bodies, is reproduced in the discourse that attended nineteenth-century American slavery. Furthermore, white men did not stop at visual objectification, but went out of their way to secure sexual unions with black women through measures as extreme as violent rape and sexual coercion. Meanwhile, in addition to operating as the blueprint for patriarchal control of female sexual behavior, the cult of true womanhood relied on the equally dominant ideology of Christianity to ensure its institutionalization. Manipulated and appropriated to fit the needs of the slave system and white patriarchal privilege, Christianity's application in fulfilling the objectives of slave-based capitalism is well documented.

Keywords:   black women, womanhood, rape, sexual coercion, American slavery, Europe, Christianity, white men

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