Peculiar Affinity: The World the Slave Owners and Their Female Slaves Made

 
9781934285053: Peculiar Affinity: The World the Slave Owners and Their Female Slaves Made
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The theory of peculiar affinity implies that Black people and White people in the 21st-century United States are connected by family, kinship, surnames, and genes. Peculiar affinity is profoundly implicated with racism in the United States. Peculiar affinity remained after the demise of slavery, but it transformed and adapted to the system of separate but equal. Peculiar Affinity: The World the Slave Owners and Their Female Slaves Made presents the discovery of a vital socioeconomic interconnection and interrelationship between White slave owners and enslaved Black women of the antebellum South during the second slave era of the 19th century, the domestic slave era. This interconnection and interrelationship consisted of a very strange dialectic of sex, which led to the reproduction of the bodies of the slave owners and their female slaves.

On a grand scale, and implemented on a consistent basis, this dialectic of sex transformed to a nexus of sex and reproduction of human bodies as commodities. The visual aspects appeared as a kind of veil that obscured actual family and kinship relations. In the antebellum South, the slave owner was the father, and the female slave and his wife were the mothers. The children from the slave owner's female slave and the children from the slave owner's wife were real and objective brothers and sisters with the same biological father.

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About the Author:

Gerald S. Norde, Sr., PhD, is the first Black American to graduate with a doctorate in sociology from the University of Delaware. he also holds a M.S. in education and a B.A. in Spanish from the Southern Illinois University. He has more than 25 years teaching experience, which includes public elementary, middle, and high schools, and charter schools. In addition, he has been an assistant professor in the departments of sociology and criminal justice at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and Central State University in Ohio. His adjunct teaching experiences in sociology and criminal justice include the George Washington University, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, and University of the District of Columbia. His ongoing research interests include inner-city teenage fatherhood and the social constructs of racism.

Review:

Peculiar Affinity is a difficult read for the sheer horror that it exposes, yet it is a part of our collective history which needs the bright light of day. Peculiar Affinity does a wonderful job of weaving a wide variety of sources together with sociological theory and analysis. The use of Northern cloth sales, newspaper ads, letters, diaries, and other primary sources to substantiate his thesis establishes Dr. Norde as a creative and thorough researcher. --Diane Emling, PhD Northwestern Michigan College

Gerald Norde has written a ground-breaking work that lays bare the barbaric treatment of Black women during U.S. slavery. It is both revealing and riveting in its terrifying horror. --Cornel West, PhD Author of Race Matters and Hope on a Tightrope: Words and Wisdom

Norde's research leads him to three major conclusions. First, the world the slave owners made was a unique and perhaps unprecendented cultural definition of family and kinship. The slave owners defined the offspring from their female slaves as "little Negroes," and as such they were not seen as the slave owners' children, but were seen instead as commodities to be bought and sold like any other commodity. Second, what constitutes a "family" in the slave-owning South was not determined by biology but by cultural definitions. The biological connections between White children of the slave owners and their White wives were the only children defined as part of the family. Third, Norde discusses the peculiar affinity that led to the definition of race in terms of skin color. He argues that distinguishing between the White and darker-skinned children of the slave owners was instrumental in establishing skin color as the foundation of racism in the United States. --William J. Chambliss, PhD Author of Sociology and Power, Politics, and Crime

Gerald Norde has written a ground-breaking work that lays bare the barbaric treatment of Black women during U.S. slavery. It is both revealing and riveting in its terrifying horror. --Cornel West, PhD Author of Race Matters and Hope on a Tightrope: Words and Wisdom

Norde's research leads him to three major conclusions. First, the world the slave owners made was a unique and perhaps unprecendented cultural definition of family and kinship. The slave owners defined the offspring from their female slaves as "little Negroes," and as such they were not seen as the slave owners' children, but were seen instead as commodities to be bought and sold like any other commodity. Second, what constitutes a "family" in the slave-owning South was not determined by biology but by cultural definitions. The biological connections between White children of the slave owners and their White wives were the only children defined as part of the family. Third, Norde discusses the peculiar affinity that led to the definition of race in terms of skin color. He argues that distinguishing between the White and darker-skinned children of the slave owners was instrumental in establishing skin color as the foundation of racism in the United States. --William J. Chambliss, PhD Author of Sociology and Power, Politics, and Crime

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