The Punished Self: Surviving Slavery In The Colonial South by Alex BontempsThe Punished Self: Surviving Slavery In The Colonial South by Alex Bontemps

The Punished Self: Surviving Slavery In The Colonial South

byAlex Bontemps

Paperback | July 31, 2008

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The Punished Self describes enslavement in the American South during the eighteenth century as a systematic assault on Blacks' sense of self. Alex Bontemps focuses on slavery's effects on the slaves' framework of self-awareness and understanding. Whites wanted Blacks to act out the role "Negro" and Blacks faced a basic dilemma of identity: How to retain an individualized sense of self under the incredible pressure to be Negro?

The first part of The Punished Self reveals how patterns of objectification were reinforced by written and visual representations of enslavement. The second examines how captive Africans were forced to accept a new identity and the expectations and behavioral requirements it symbolized. The third section defines and illustrates the tensions inherent in slaves' being Negro in order to survive. Bontemps offers fresh interpretations of runaway slave ads and portraits. Such views of black people expressing themselves are missing entirely from other historical sources. This book's revelations include many such original examples of the survival of the individual in the face of enslavement.

Title:The Punished Self: Surviving Slavery In The Colonial SouthFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.2 inPublished:July 31, 2008Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801474825

ISBN - 13:9780801474828

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Editorial Reviews

"In this enthralling and extremely impressive book, Alex Bontemps thinks about slavery in a strikingly original and penetrating way. The Punished Self is an important book that will challenge our understanding of Eighteenth Century African-American and American culture."—Shane White, University of Sydney