Thursday, January 11, 2024

"Old Age and American Slavery"

New from Cambridge University Press: Old Age and American Slavery by David Stefan Doddington.

About the book, from the publisher:

Old Age and American Slavery explores how antebellum southerners, Black and white, adapted to, resisted, or failed to overcome changes associated with old age, both real and imagined. Slavery was a system of economic exploitation and a contested site of personal domination, both of which were affected by concerns with age. In examining how individuals, families, and communities felt about the aging process and dealt with elders, David Stefan Doddington emphasizes the complex social relations that developed in a slave society. In connecting old age to the arguments of Black activists, abolitionists, enslavers, and their propagandists, the book reveals how representations of old age, and experiences of aging, spoke to wider struggles relating to mastery, paternalism, resistance, and survival in slavery. The book asks us to rethink long-standing narratives relating to networks of solidarity in the American South and it illuminates the violent and exploitative nature of American slavery.
--Marshal Zeringue