Another form of sexual oppression depicted, was one in which women were forced into marriages and child bearing with men that were not of their choosing (Morton 263). Through the invasion of a woman’s sexual life, the slave masters forbade women from having a stable relationship with their husband, creating an insecure family structure. Hence, historian George Rawick concluded that slave women were unable to have the special bond between husband and wife (Rawick 78).
Just as woman’s position as a wife was compromised, so was their role as a mother. Black women were victims of not only sexual aggressions but were also unprotected from the plantation life and unable to establish the vital role of being a mother, and lacked the respect that came along with the position (Morton 203). For instance, women were pushed into physically demanding labor and weren’t respected as mothers (Morton 203). Not only were they strained from physically demanding labor, but they were also forced to head their household because of the labor migrations of the fathers. Therefore, “mothers were the center of families, while masters kept fathers somewhere else” (Dunaway 78). Mothers were left alone to raise their children because of the father’s lack in presence and resources (Dunaway 64). Thus slave children took on the responsibilities of the mother (Franklin and Schweninger 13). Yet being the center of the family wasn’t significant, since mothers did not have the opportunity to establish any real relationship with their children (Rawick 78). This was due to the fact that there was no time for nurturing relationships because of the time consuming tasks that the slaves had to complete throughout the day. The mother’s own responsibilities would impede her ability to raise her children (Dunaway 69). With the mother’s lack of supervision, the children