As Grey-White argues in chapter 3, “The Life Cycle of the Female Slave:”
“The experiences of slave women from one plantation to the next, from one region of the South to the next, from the cotton ,to the sugar, to the rice plantation were obviously different. But there was a pattern that defined the general contours of life for average bondwomen. This general pattern is the subject of this chapter.”
Read chapter 3 and reflect on these general patterns for girls, young women, women, and the elderly. What were the key markers of life for slave women in the antebellum south? Please note that some of the exploitation that Grey-White reveals in this chapter, black abolitionists writers were trying to expose during the Second Great Awakening through speeches and publications. In other words, this chapter resonates beautifully with the theme of literary abolition, which I discussed in our lecture.