© 2009

Enslaved Women and the Art of Resistance in Antebellum America

  • Authors

Part of the Black Religion/Womanist Thought/Social Justice book series (BRWT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Introduction

    1. Renee K. Harrison
      Pages 1-12
  3. Precolonial West Africa: Context and Perspectives

  4. Historical Grotesque Realities

  5. Yearning for the Beautiful

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 233-282

About this book


Draws on mid-seventeenth to nineteenth-century slave narratives to describe oppression in the lives of enslaved African women. Investigates pre-colonial West and West Central African women's lives prior to European arrival to recover the cultural traditions and religious practices that helped enslaved women combat violence and oppression.

About the authors

Renee K. Harrison is Assistant Professor of African American and U.S. Religious History at Howard University School of Divinity, USA.

Bibliographic information


"An excellent and refreshing contribution to studies about the cultural and social sources of violence.This comprehensive book should be read by everyone concerned about the prevalence of violence and the need for healing in our world today." - Delores S. Williams, Author of Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk

"An ambitious historical excavation of the violence and religion of U.S. slavery! With unflinching honesty Harrison presents a wide range of stories about the brutality black women slaves experienced and creatively organizes those storieswithin unique, womanist frameworks." - Traci C. West, Author of Disruptive Christian Ethics: When Racism and Women's Lives Matter

"Harrison done gone and started something now! With this searing, soaring, and majestic work she has created an intellectual and spiritual clearing and invited our ancestral forebears to speak . . .This book deeply reaches and teaches us in places beyond words.The heretofore unsung witness of our ancestors, our mothers, bids us enter into healthy and life-affirming streams in our own day and time.Ashé!" - Alton B. Pollard, Dean and Professor of Religion and Culture, Howard University School of Divinity

"This book is timely for a public hungry for fresh perspectives on race, violence, and healing . . .Crafted in poetic prose, the book offers full-bodied scholarship, original interpretations of violence and resistance, and daring proposals for action. It deserves to be widely read." - Mary Elizabeth Moore, Dean and Professor of Theology and Education, Boston University School of Theology

"Scholarly, Harrison captures the rhythmic moral, beauty, and power of black women s protest tradition of the slave era. She does this without romanticizing the aesthetic and moral flaws of either black victims or white victimizers." - Riggins R. Earl, Jr., Professor of Social Ethics, Interdenominational Theological Center