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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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Re(Dis)Covering and Recreating the Cultural Milieu of Margaret Garner

Re(Dis)Covering and Recreating the Cultural Milieu of Margaret Garner

(p.1) Introduction Re(Dis)Covering and Recreating the Cultural Milieu of Margaret Garner
Gendered Resistance

Delores M. Walters

University of Illinois Press

This introductory chapter focuses on Margaret Garner's story. In 1856, Garner killed her two-year-old daughter and attempted to kill her other three children rather than see them returned to slavery. Her act of infanticide represents the most drastic and extreme form of woman-centered resistance to the brutality of slavery. As such, Garner's desperate solution to “save” her children continues to capture people's interest. Her story symbolizes the impossible choices that were forced upon African Americans burdened by the institution of slavery. It is also relevant to present-day women's resistance to intimate partner violence. Indeed, the theme of women and violence is a continuing reality in the United States and the world.

Keywords:   Margaret Garner, slavery, infanticide, woman-centered resistance, African Americans, partner violence

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