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Gendered ResistanceWomen, Slavery, and the Legacy of Margaret Garner$
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Mary E. Frederickson and Delores M. Walters

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037900

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037900.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use (for details see http://www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 14 December 2017

Can Quadroon Balls Represent Acquiescence or Resistance?

Can Quadroon Balls Represent Acquiescence or Resistance?

Chapter:
(p.115) Chapter 5 Can Quadroon Balls Represent Acquiescence or Resistance?
Source:
Gendered Resistance
Author(s):

Diana Williams

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252037900.003.0006

This chapter seeks to reconcile the persistent myth of the self-directed quadroon—women possessing one fourth black and three fourths white “blood”—finding love and quasi-marriage at a glamorous and respectable quadroon ball with the known history of the sexual exploitation of black women, both slave and free. White men frequently engaged in sexual relationships with women of color, including free women of color, in pre-Civil War Louisiana, yet fictionalized representations of the balls distort and obscure important realities about race, sex, and power in the nineteenth century. White men exercised sexual access to women of color in a variety of blurred and overlapping forms, including slavery, domestic servitude, prostitution, and other relationships, all of which could be placed under the rubric of what Louisiana law termed concubinage.

Keywords:   quadroon, quadroon ball, sexual exploitation, black women, slavery, domestic servitude, prostitution, concubinage

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