Indeed, it is estimated today that at least three-quarters of “black” Americans have at least one “white” ancestor. Numerous surviving narratives from enslaved women have accounts of such sexual exploitation by white men.
The could be beaten into subservience, including into coerced sexual relationships at any age.
This was true during slavery, and often true under the near-slavery of Jim Crow segregation that lasted nearly to 1970.
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Patterson’s daughter and son-in law, Christianne and Henry Shields. At the time, Henry Shields was in his late 40s and had four sons ages 19 to 24, but other men may have spent time on the farm.
There is no discussion of the literally totalitarian system in which black women were usually at the mercy of whites, especially white men, for their material survival.The New York Times did an interesting story on Michelle Obama’s mixed-racial ancestry (h./t.Jessica), one that is also revealing of the unwillingness of most whites to fully face and thoroughly assess the rape and sexual coercion of black women by white men–likely hundreds of thousands of times, over 350 or so years of our 400 year history.The Times continues a bit later with one of two passing references to this coercion: While President Obama’s biracial background has drawn considerable attention, his wife’s pedigree, which includes American Indian strands, highlights the complicated history of racial intermingling, sometimes born of violence or coercion, that lingers in the bloodlines of many African-Americans.Well, again we get the very tame “intermingling,” followed by the awkward “sometimes born of violence,” since “usually born of violence or coercion” would be more accurate.During our very long slavery history, well more than half our total history, young people were sold away from their parents, and were listed and treated just like cattle, as here.