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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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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Battered Bodies, Enfeebled Minds

Battered Bodies, Enfeebled Minds

(p.106) 5 Battered Bodies, Enfeebled Minds
Slavery at Sea

Sowande' M. Mustakeem

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines suicide as a way for female and male slaves to direct their personal struggles with alienation and mistreatment toward their own bodies. It looks at three critical factors—the psyche, the body, and space—to argue that central to understanding enslaved suicide are the spatial arenas through which bondpeople asserted power amid attempts to escape slavery. It also widens the conversation of humans and the sea by introducing slave ship runaways and reveals how self-sabotage operated in the social spaces of ships and the sea. By focusing on how bondpeople coped with the shock of enslavement as agonizing personal choices were made on life or death, this chapter reinforces the view of the unbearable psychological effects of slavery at sea.

Keywords:   suicide, maritime slaves, psyche, bondpeople, power, slave ships, slave runaways, self-sabotage, psychological effects, social spaces

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