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.
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