Slavery and the Making of AmericaPolitical caricature depicting black and white men and women interacting
Time and Place Slave Memories Resources The Slave Experience

The Slave Experience: Men, Women & Gender
Intro Historical Overview Character Spotlight Slave Clothing Personal Narratives Original Docs
The Clothes Make the Man, the Woman, and the Slave

People wear clothing to protect their bodies against nature, to define their social roles, and to express their personalities. But what happens when a person is forced to wear clothing chosen by another? The images and text below show some of the ways that slaveholders used clothing to manipulate the gender identities of black men and women in order to sustain the institution of slavery. They also demonstrate some of the ways in which slaves used clothing both to survive their captivity and to rebel against it.

Gender Specific Clothing The Power of a Uniform Clothing for slave children
Dress that Oppressed and Clothing that Liberated Nudity and the Captive Body Slave Women and the Head-Wrap
email this page to a friend
About the Series K-12 Learning Feedback [an error occurred while processing this directive]Support PBS