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Slavery at SeaTerror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage$
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Sowande' M. Mustakeem

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040559

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040559.001.0001

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Imagined Bodies

Imagined Bodies

(p.36) 2 Imagined Bodies
Slavery at Sea

Sowande' M. Mustakeem

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the range of captives representative of the human merchandise made available to foreign buyers by introducing the notion of imagined bodies. Broadening the lexicon of the slave trade to include females, males, children, and elderly captives, it analyzes the meanings of black bodies within slavery prior to their plantation displacement. It also discusses the human costs, or rather the consequences of rejections imposed against another group of slaves left and lost in the history as “refuse.” Finally, it considers the use of age, gender, health, and diverse bodily configurations to predict where, how, and if any captive would fit into the vast landscape of Atlantic slavery. The chapter shows that the kidnap, transport, and confinement of bondpeople in shoreline holdings made possible the trade of humans as viable goods.

Keywords:   captives, human merchandise, imagined bodies, slave trade, black bodies, slavery, slaves, refuse, health, bondpeople

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