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The Mark of Slavery – Disability, Race, and Gender in Antebellum America - Illinois Scholarship Online
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The Mark of Slavery: Disability, Race, and Gender in Antebellum America

Jenifer L. Barclay


This book makes disability legible in the histories of both slavery and race, arguing that disability is a critical category of historical analysis. Bondage complicated and contributed to enslaved people’s experiences of complexly embodied conditions that ranged across the physical, sensory, cognitive, and psychological. Ableist histories of racial slavery have long overlooked how the social relations of disability shaped people’s everyday lives, particularly within enslaved families, communities, and culture. At the same time, antebellum Americans persistently constructed and framed racial id ... More

Keywords: Antebellum America, Antislavery, blackface minstrelsy, complex embodiment, disability, freak shows, medical discourse of race, proslavery, racial ideology, racial slavery, slave law

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780252043727
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2021 DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252043727.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jenifer L. Barclay, author
University at Buffalo