Why was sexual relations between white women and black men prohibited  “taboo” in slavery?
15 mins read

Why was sexual relations between white women and black men prohibited “taboo” in slavery?

Historically, everyone came to the conclusion that marital relations between white women and black men were prohibited, a type of relationship which was socially considered taboo, but this did not prevent intimate relations between black slave owners and slave owners. during slavery, especially in the southern states of the United States, mostly on slave plantations, which depended greatly on slave labor.


Why were intimate relationships between black slaves and white women considered taboo during slavery? To understand the prohibited character considered immoral in a slave society in the British colonies in what is now the United States, puritan in its essence controlled by the teaching of the church which was condemned as a fish. It is also the result of the mentality of racial superiority that whites had over blacks, any type of intimate or sexual relationship between blacks and whites, apart from being socially prohibited, was also legally punished in some southern slave states.

Something that we must accept: there were many marital relationships between blacks and whites, many of them were hidden from society for two reasons: the taboo associated with this type of racial mixing and because they were legally prohibited by white groups who followed the ideology of white supremacy. but they also imposed the idea of purity of the white race and this type of marital relationship between blacks and whites threatened this idea.


Why are relationships between blacks and whites considered taboo?

One of the characteristics of any slave system was the possession of one person over another who was considered inferior. In that case, we are talking about white people who owned black slaves gave reasons why whites considered themselves superior to blacks, perhaps you would conclude that this was one of the reasons, but not the main one, why relationships were prohibited.

Sexual relations between black men and white women during slavery were much less talked about than this type of relationship, which was considered immoral and shameful in a Puritan society of the 17th and 18th centuries in the British colonies in America where the church had great influence, especially the Southern colonies of Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia.

But, when two racially different human groups spend a lot of time together sharing the same territorial space, racial miscegenation is the result that is only achieved when both groups have sex, whether forced or desired, and in the most extreme cases, as the product of rape.

When we talk about people in slavery, as both black men and women were, something that you must take into consideration is that during the slave system in the United States, black slave person who, due to low social level, was considered less than a human being, who could be sold and bought as merchandise, but also physically exploited and emotionally abused, but above all, in many cases, they were sexually used by their owners.

Historically, we all know that white slave owners sexually used and “raped” black slave women, but when we talk about white women who owned black slaves, this behavior never occurred or was simply hidden or denied. But we must ask ourselves the following questions: were there sexual relations between white women and black slaves during slavery? If you answer yes, then why do we never hear stories of white women who were sexually attracted to black slaves?

Why were sexual relations between black men and white women taboo during slavery?

In this video, we will try to answer those question When you look at the growth of the population of mulattoes or people of color, during slavery, that tells you that in slave society, where the black woman’s body was hypersexualized as a product of nascent racial stereotypes associated with the sexuality of slave women, which in many cases was the product of a morbid mind in the imagination of many white young people who wanted to discharge sexual impulses through erotic images.

Where the black woman was the center of attention in those sexual fantasies. In the same way, these types of erotic fantasies associated with black slaves by white men also existed in the minds of white women when they observed the naked bodies of black male slaves. Why were sexual relations between black men and white women taboo during slavery? The answer is yes, both in the past and in the present. We are used to hearing love stories between white men and black women during slavery, although there was a certain social taboo on this type of relationship, considered socially prohibited and morally condemned by the church.

Type of love story between a white man and a black woman where this type of human drama where romanticism or love between each other was never part of the relationship between a slave and its owner. Type of imposed relationship that we could not consider a love story, we must see it as a tragedy because in most cases the black woman was not the owner of her body, which was the property of her master.

Remember, during slavery, the slaves and the free had no rights, and any marital relationship that was not legally or socially established was considered immoral. As a result of this social taboo associated with interracial relationships, in which many couples are not married or in cohabitation, mulatto children were seen as the product of an impure and immoral relationship before the laws of God.

Type of marital relationship between a black man and a white woman or vice versa, which was sometimes denied by the participants due to the taboo associated with this type of relationship, which was condemned socially and, in some states, legally. As a result of the racial miscegenation laws in some southern states, both the black man and the white woman could go to prison for violating these laws, which is why there were many interracial couples who lived their lives as a couple in secret.

Were all marital relationships between a white man and a black woman a tragedy?

My answer is no. In some of these relationships, even though we talk about the rape and exploitation of black women by her white master, the words love, respect,” and commitment were in many cases the reason behind this interracial union between a white woman and a black man in equal economic and social condition.. Perhaps that is why we should consider that, just as there were consensual sexual relations between white men and black women, in the same way there were interracial relations between black men and white women during slavery.

Was it possible during slavery to have a romantic story between a white man and a woman? My answer is yes. As it was also possible, although to a lesser extent, a marital relationship between a black man and a white woman during that same period, where love was the basis of that relationship between people of different racial groups, and even more so when we talk about a free black man before and after the Civil Revolution who had relationships with white women of the same level. But it’s not the kind of relationship we’re talking about right now.

Try to answer the following question, Do you really believe that there was never an intimate relationship or sexual interaction between a white woman and a black man during slavery? We must be too naive to accept as true that kind of narrative about something we all know happened, especially when we all know that white men were intimate with black women.

A type of behavior considered immoral by the society of the time, which was also imitated by white women, although we have never read written history about this type of forbidden relationship, although everyone knew what happened, and more when the morality of the white woman is questioned. This tells you, that a love story between a white woman and a black man was something unimagined, much less told.

Although when you observe the reality of the levels of racial miscegenation between black and white during that time, it is a reality that cannot be hidden when you observe the increase in the mulatto population. Maybe that’s why we should question the veracity of a loving relationship between a white woman and a black man in a society where purity, beauty, and morality that could not be questioned never occurred, when we talk about white women.

But it is the type of story about which there are legal records about divorce, but also the writings left by white women who had intimate relationships with free black men. Perhaps, as a result of the taboos and social challenges of this type of relationship during and after slavery, telling a story of love between a white woman and a black slave man did not exist, even when this white woman was deeply in love with a Black man.

After the Civil War, interracial marriages between blacks and whites were legally permitted?

The answer is no. In Love v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), a unanimous Court struck down state laws banning marriage between individuals of different races, holding that these anti-miscegenation statutes violated both the Due Process and the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Many historians
recognize the relationship between a white man and a black woman, but never the relationship between a black man and a white woman. That is the stark truth when we talk about marital relations between a white woman and a black man during slavery.

My question is: why? This type of work is trying to provide the answer. When you analyze the social position of white women during slavery, you can understand the reasons behind avoiding talking about the history of a relationship between a white woman and a black man, the misrepresentation associated with racial miscegenation during slavery, and the suppression of facts, false beliefs, and propaganda used by some white historians to perpetuate racial superiority but also to protect the moral conduct of white women, will give you an idea of why white women were considered morally pure.

But historically, we all know that in the same way male slave owners sexually exploited black women, white women of high society also sexually used black men during and after slavery to satisfy their most intimate needs as women, a type of practice that was known in all the colonies.

We have always heard that white women act as social ladies, guided by Christian values, conservative in the way they dress, speak, and behave, and above all devoted to their families, unlike black women who were considered immoral or promiscuous, women who acted with a behavior that encouraged sexual relations with any man, married or single, and gave birth to black and mulatto children without knowing the name of the father.

But, for this work, we will not talk about a tragic story about the marital relationship between blacks and whites freely consensual or imposed during slavery, perhaps that is why I will not focus on talking about a personal story based on my life as a white woman living with a man of color during slavery. A black man whom she loved with all her heart, not caring what society thought of hers, not thinking about my personal reputation, but also the possibility that I could lose everything by having an interracial relationship, which was forbidden.

During slavery in the United States, there was never any type of marital relationship or concubinage between a black man and a white woman? It is a response that many want to hide, especially when supremacist ideas dominated the cultural environment of the time among the white population, who said that white women were fragile, submissive, sexually repressed, obedient to their white husbands, and above all, believers in the Christian faith. Type of belief that prohibited interracial marriage relationships, let alone any kind of sexual activity between a white woman and a black man that was considered more than, an immoral act was also considered a sin.

Do you really think that a white woman never had sex with a black man or had some kind of fantasy associated with black men’s bodies during slavery?

It is time to break with this social taboo historically protected the image of the white woman during slavery, to the detriment of the image of the black woman. During slavery, the sexual exploitation of black women was a known fact that was prohibited by the church. Reasons why the image of the black woman was never protected by society, much less by the church, who considered her an impure woman from the moment she was born, inheriting all the sins of her non-Christian parents.

It is the kind of social taboo on interracial relationships before and after the Civil War that we will try to recognize by telling the story of these relationships, which was prohibited during slavery in the United States. Story in which a white woman was deeply in love with a black man, a white woman who dared to challenge that anti-black idea imposed by supremacist ideas that the union between blacks and whites was prohibited not only by men’s laws but also by the laws of God.

A white woman who risked her life, her sense of morality, her religious beliefs to be with the man she loved. But when we talk about interracial relationships between blacks and whites during and after slavery, they are forgotten in the past because they were realities of history that some do not want to hear. Still, at this time, there are many people who are against racial mixing between people of different races, especially between a black man and a white woman. Which is sad that some people have those kinds of thoughts right now.

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