Men, for instance, might chop the wood for a fence, while women were put in charge of its construction. The activity of hoeing, in particular, speaks to several ways in which the institution of American slavery upset the gender roles men and women played in Africa before enslavement.
In South Carolina, where rice was the dominant crop, men hoed the fields alongside women.
Despite common factors, however, the circumstances of enslavement were different for black women and black men.
The first slaves to be brought to the British colonies of North America were disproportionately male.
Landless farmworkers are enslaved on ranches and plantations in Brazil.
Illegal debts and a lack of access to justice plague the poor and marginalized in India—entire families are enslaved for borrowing small sums in emergencies.
Of course, the burdens, physical as well as psychological, that came with childbearing were enormous for enslaved women.Expected to put the needs of the master and his family before her own children, the slave mother on a large plantation returned to the fields soon after giving birth, leaving her child to be raised by others.