The Role Of Interracial Relations In The Antebellum South

1429 Words6 Pages
Morgan Roney
Interracial Relations in the Antebellum South Interracial sexual relations under slavery were a major factor of the early national and antebellum South. In Notorious in the Neighborhood: Sex and Families across the Color Line in Virginia, 1787-1861, by Joshua D. Rothman, many relationships are shared to illustrate what went on during those times. Relationships that were most talked about included those between slave masters and their slaves. Sexual relations raised many issues including: race, slavery, and violence. They also brought about various responses from people around. It is believed that “…interracial relations both supported and undermined slavery and racism…” in many ways. Slavery and racism were both supported and undermined by adultery, laws, and separation of races throughout interracial relations. Rothman begins his analysis on interracial sexual relationships using Thomas Jefferson’s relationship with a slave he owned named Sally Hemings. He was in the sexual relationship because he promised his wife to never remarry after she died. Master-slave sexual relationships were common during the time and had
…show more content…
Slavery is what made many of the interracial sexual relationships occur due to people of higher class than slaves having authority. Interracial relations involving slave and slave masters supported slavery because they were one sided in where the master initiated it all. Slavery was a punishment, as well as a bond between the master and their slaves. Both groups, no matter how hard it was to show it, depended on each other for many tasks. Slavery grew larger as the demand for labor expanded in different parts of Virginia. In Richmond, many industries needed slaves to work different jobs that included: coal mines, laundry business, household work, railroads, and more. Not only did slaves work the jobs, but also free and white people worked alongside
Open Document