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The Possibilities and Power of Grief: When Enslaved Mothers Lose Children and Enslavers Lose Capital

September 18, 2023

October 2, 2023

3:45 PM

SHM, 333 Cedar Street

Library Wing, Room 115

Sasha Turner, Associate Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, offers an intimate portrait of the life of an enslaved woman known as Abba, who appears multiple times in the diary of a slaveholder in eighteenth Jamaica. Abba’s life, like many others chronicled in the diary, is incompletely established in the literature; a pathetic figure overcome by violence, domination, and a demanding labor regime. Shifting analytic gaze and narrative voice to the enslaved, this discussion uncovers enslaved women’s affective creativity and configuration of a life aligned with their maternal and communal values.

Submitted by Patricia Brunetto on September 18, 2023