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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, 2018. 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 www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 23 January 2019

The Psychological Aftereffects of Racialized Sexual Violence

The Psychological Aftereffects of Racialized Sexual Violence

(p.191) Chapter 9 The Psychological Aftereffects of Racialized Sexual Violence
Gendered Resistance

Cathy McDaniels-Wilson

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the psychological after effects of racialized sexual violence. Although few formal nineteenth-century records of mental illness, mental instability, or depression exist, written and oral slave narratives recount how “the entire life of the slave was hedged about with rules and regulations.” Samuel Cartwright, a well-known physician in the antebellum South, had a psychiatric explanation for runaway slaves, diagnosing them in 1851 as suffering from “drapetomania.” Classified as “a disease of the mind,” Cartwright defined drapetomania as a treatable and preventable condition that caused “negroes to run away.” Cartwright's published work established the foundation for “racism's historic impact” on black mental health. Indeed, Cartwright's pseudo-science, a potent mix of religion, pro-slavery politics, and medicine, forged a powerful connection between mental illness and race continued by subsequent generations of physicians and psychologists.

Keywords:   racialized sexual violence, mental illness, mental instability, depression, Samuel Cartwright, drapetomania, runaway slaves, black mental health, racism

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