Measures used to control enslaved Africans
Colonial assemblies and individual planters used and instituted many methods that ensured that the slave population was subdued and subservient. Such methods included: Economic Control
a) There was severe limitation on free time for the enslaved as free time was equated to loss of production time on the estate. As a result, a structure of economic dependence was created whereby enslaved Africans relied on the planter for their food, shelter and clothing. b) Severe restriction was placed on the ability of the enslaved Africans to carve an economic livelihood, for instance, growing provision crops to be sold in the market. Psychological and Ideological Control
a) A concerted attempt was made to condition enslaved Africans to make them believe that they were 'barbaric' and 'inferior'. b) The plantation society created a culture whereby the practices of the whites were seen as superior to that of the 'Africans'. As a result, African cultural practices were denigrated. c) Enslaved Africans resisted the system of slavery by running away, malingering, and rebelling. d) Enslaved women used their bodies as weapons in resisting slavery. They practised what was described as 'gynaecological resistance'. Social Control
Among the enslaved population, a rigid social divide was created - this resulted in an antagonistic relationship between domestic, skilled and field slaves. The domestics were entrusted with their master's valuables and children. They were allowed to wear better clothes; the females were allowed to wear necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Some also learnt to cook, sew, read and write. These slaves were loyal to their masters and were most likely to report plans of rebellion. Artisans were highly valued by their masters and were sometimes hired out. They also had more freedom of movement than other slaves on the plantation. The field slaves were seen as the 'worse class' on the sugar estate. Legal Control - Laws...
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