Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name



African-American Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Margaret N. Rowley


This paper will reassess the role of the Black woman in Black resistance before the Civil War. In the process it will attempt to destroy two myths: 1) that Blacks were passive victims of slavery and oppression and 2) that those persons who did resist their victimization were men. It will point out that the Black woman's oppression under slavery was certainly different and arguably worse than the Black male's because she was sexually oppressed. Finally, it will show that Black women equally challenged slavery along with their male counterparts, using the same methods as they as well as their own unique methods which responded to the unique oppressions they faced as Black women. As much as possible, the role of the Black woman in Black resistance will be gleaned from sources which directly relate her experiences. These include female slave narratives, docu mentary source references, anti-slavery newspapers, the judicial cases 2 on American slavery, as well as a number of secondary sources. It is hoped that these sources will reveal the ways Black women forged their own paths in their struggle against slavery and oppression during the antebellum era.