suicide, slavery, antebellum America, discourse, self-destruction, racism
Suicide amongst slaves in antebellum America occurred frequently enough that systems of control were put in place by slave owners to limit their occurrence. Meanwhile, abolitionists used instances of slave suicide to evoke sympathy and advance their cause. This article explores how and why conceptualizations of white and black suicide differed. In doing so, it argues that contemporary discourse about slave suicide was intentionally used to shape racist perceptions as a means of maintaining control over slaves and the institution of slavery alike.
"Controlling Death: Exploring the Discourse of Suicide in Antebellum America,"
The Great Lakes Journal of Undergraduate History: Vol. 8:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholar.uwindsor.ca/gljuh/vol8/iss1/3