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Black Sexual EconomiesRace and Sex in a Culture of Capital$
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Adrienne D. Davis and BSE Collective

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042645

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042645.001.0001

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“Don‘t Let Nobody Bother Yo’ Principle”

“Don‘t Let Nobody Bother Yo’ Principle”

The Sexual Economy of American Slavery

(p.15) Chapter 1 “Don‘t Let Nobody Bother Yo’ Principle”
Black Sexual Economies

Adrienne D. Davis

University of Illinois Press

The organizing essay of the collection presents the important concept of sexual economy of slavery. It examines the ways that slavery's sexual and racial subordination converged around the bodies of enslaved black women. It documents slavery as a "sexual political economy" to make explicit the connections between its markets, labor structure, and sexual exploitation. It designates slavery a sexual economy to foreground slavery's gender hierarchies and mechanisms of subordination as well as to show how slavery offered early illustrations of the social construction and fluidity of gender and the false dichotomy between public and private relations. In sum, the chapter demonstrates that race, sex, and slavery combined to produce an entirely different notion of intimacy and sexual anxieties and how those were managed and reproduced.

Keywords:   legal history, sexual economy of slavery, antebellum southern political economy, reproductive expropriations and exploitation

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