This week, we explore what sex, courtship, and marriage was like for enslaved Africans in 18th and 19th century America. How were those who had no control over their destiny able to find love? What effect did the system of slavery have on family structure and gender roles? All this and more will be answered in this episode.


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Bibb, Henry, and Charles J. Heglar. The Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb: An American Slave. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2001. Print.
Editors, “Slavery in America.”, A&E Television Networks, LLC, 12 Nov. 2009,
Hallam, Jennifer. “The Slave Experience: Men, Women & Gender.” Thirteen, Educational Broadcasting Corporation, 2004,
Handley-Cousins, Sarah. “A Tragic Reality.” National Museum of Civil War Medicine, The National Museum of Civil War Medicine, 24 Mar. 2018,
Lewis, Thomas. “Transatlantic Slave Trade.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 7 Sept. 2018,
“Plantation Courtship.” The Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2018,
Schwartz, Marie Jenkins. “Good Breeders.” Slate, The Slate Group LLC, 24 Aug. 2015,
Simkin, John. “Slave Marriages.” Spartacus Educational, Spartacus Educational Publishers Ltd., Aug. 2014,
“Slave Marriages, Families Were Often Shattered By Auction Block.” NPR, NPR, 11 Feb. 2010,
Thompson, Mary V. “Slavery and Marriage.” George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, 2018,
“Treatment of Slaves in the United States.” Lumen Learning,, 2018,

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About the Author
Sarah Duncan is a lean manufacturing coach for a pharmaceutical company. Her ADD combined with excessive creative energy have led to many outlandish pursuits and activities over the years, including 20+ years as a dancer and choreographer, a brief stint competing in sprint triathlons, and performing in the Raleigh musical theater scene. For years, Sarah has been fascinated with how romance and passion have frequently changed the course of history. Salacious History evolved out of Sarah’s love of history, pop culture, and podcasting.

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