To See Who Was Best on the Plantation: Enslaved Fighting Contests and Masculinity in the Antebellum Plantation South

November 2010
Journal of Southern History;Nov2010, Vol. 76 Issue 4, p901
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the practice of Antebellum slaveowners in the Southern States to arrange for fights between their male slaves as a form of entertainment. Using slave narratives collected by the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration, the author explores matters of the identity of African American slaves, their views on masculinity, and how such wrestling and boxing matches fostered a sense of social solidarity among men. The article also provides an overview of the historiography of slave studies, especially gendered studies.


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