TEHRAN (IBNA) -- History book, ‘They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South’ (2019) by Stephanie Jones-Rogers, which studies Southern U.S. white women’s role in the slave-market system has been published in Persian.
The book disputes conventional wisdom that white women played a passive or minimal role in slaveholding. It has been translated into Persian by Mohammad-Amin Jandaghian. Ketabestan-e Ma’refat has released ‘They Were Her Property’ in 316 pages.
For the book, Jones-Rogers received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Merle Curti Social History Award from the Organization of American Historians.
Bridging women’s history, the history of the South, and African American history, this book makes a bold argument about the role of white women in American slavery. Historian Jones-Rogers draws on a variety of sources to show that slave owning women were sophisticated economic actors who directly engaged in and benefited from the South’s slave market.
Because women typically inherited more slaves than land, enslaved people were often their primary source of wealth. Not only did white women often refuse to cede ownership of their slaves to their husbands, they employed management techniques that were as effective and brutal as those used by slave owning men.
White women actively participated in the slave market, profited from it, and used it for economic and social empowerment. By examining the economically entangled lives of enslaved people and slave owning women, Jones-Rogers presents a narrative that forces us to rethink the economics and social conventions of slaveholding America.
The New York Times comments on this book: “They Were Her Property draws on the customary sources- letters and other documents from slave-owning families and the like- but radically centers the testimonies of formerly enslaved people in interviews conducted by the Federal Writers’ Project, part of the Works Progress Administration.
From these stories, Jones-Rogers brings an unseen world to life...Jones-Rogers is a crisp and focused writer. She trains her gaze on the history and rarely considers slavery’s reverberations. They are felt on every page, however. It is impossible to read her on ‘maternal violence’- the abuse of black mothers and babies during slavery- without thinking of black maternal mortality rates today. This scrupulous history makes a vital contribution to our understanding of our past and present.”
Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers is an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. She is an expert in African-American history, the history of American slavery, and women’s and gender history.