Black History | Wet Nursing

The back story, is slavery.

Wet Nursing

Understand that the system of slavery functioned by removing all agency from black bodies. The removal of identity, autonomy, culture and humanity was a necessary facet of slavery. To white slave masters, the only way for them to be able to justify the enslavement of people, was to remove all things that made them people. They policed black bodies; they told them when to get up, when to eat, when to have sex, when to use the bathroom. There was nothing joyful about being a slave.

“But the slaves sang! And in some pictures, they may even be smiling!”

Understand that this was a means of survival. See, try as they might, the spirit of slaves could not be completely broken. The want of freedom and the fight to live could not be erased. They sang to maintain their sanity. They danced to preserve their culture. They laughed because crying was exhausting; there was work to be done.

Wet nursing 2Do you understand that there were people who’s job was specifically to “break in” slaves? To beat them into submission? To threaten with, and often actually mutilate their bodies buy cutting off limbs and genitals, whipping slaves until their skin peeled off like paper?

So you need not know the “back story” to the image. Because there was no humanity in slavery. The woman in the image did not walk up to her master and say “I have nothing to do today, can I please feed your baby?” Her body was not hers. There was no choice. Even if her master had the “decency” to ask her to feed the child, instead of just forcing her to do it, an answer of “yes” was not out of joy, but rather that she didn’t really have a choice to begin with.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
This entry was posted in Black Codes, Black History, Civil Rights, discrimination, Domestic Terrorism, History, Human Rights, Institutional Racism, Jim Crow laws, News, Open Thread, Racism, Slavery and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Black History | Wet Nursing

  1. Vee says:

    Such things make me wonder that the same characteristics of the devil himself are the same as of the race that had black people as slaves.

  2. rikyrah says:

    That picture is so sad. She had a family of her own, that she was forced to ignore.

  3. majiir says:

    Good enough to feed her master’s baby but not good enough to be viewed as human and his equal. SMDH.

    • Ametia says:

      These women and the men were treated lower than animals.

      These people had NO CONSCIENCE, NO SOUL.

      • yahtzeebutterfly says:

        When will the damage be repaired??

        Never was there been an admission of guilt, an apology, no rectification, no desire to repair the damage….not then, not today……these slaveholders went to their graves in an impure state.

        And, to see all the events occurring today that are efforts to turn the clock back.
        I want to see the damage repaired and instead I am seeing a reversal of all the gains of the civil rights era…a destruction of the 2nd Reconstruction of the sixties.

        But, one thing I know is the spirit of Maya Angelou’s words is strong today:

  4. Ametia says:

    The proof’s in the photo & the TITTIES. The white women couldn’t even suckle their own babies. Black women were no more than cows, an animal to these barbarians.

    The children who were suckled got nourishment, and called it mammy love, without understanding, accepting, or caring that they were forced to breastfeed their asses.

  5. WordPress is going crazy today.

  6. Women are generally shown some little indulgence for three or four weeks previous to child-birth; they are at such times not often punished if they do not finish the task assigned them; it is, in some cases, passed over with a severe reprimand, and sometimes without any notice being taken of it. They are generally allowed four weeks after the birth of a child, before they are compelled to go into the field, they then take the child with them, attended sometimes by a little girl or boy, from the age of four to six, to take care of it while the mother is at work. When there is no child that can be spared, or not young enough for this service, the mother, after nursing, lays it under a tree, or by the side of a fence, and goes to her task, returning at stated intervals to nurse it.

  7. Dehumanized. Humanity stripped away. Whew lawd!

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